The number of deliberate fires started in London have gone down by 80% over the past decade according to new figures from the London Fire Brigade.

Over the last year the Brigade attended 6,950 deliberate fires compared to nearly 35,000 in 2001/02, though this number is up slightly on 2009/10, largely due to incidents during last summer's riots.

London Fire Authority chair James Cleverly said: "The dramatic decrease in deliberate fires means Londoners are a great deal safer from these needless acts of destruction than they were 10 years ago.

"However, the slight increase in deliberate fires over the last two years shows that we cannot be complacent. If people see an abandoned vehicle or rubbish dumped in the street, they should contact their local council, which will help get it removed so it cannot become a target for would be arsonists."

A number of schemes have been set up by the Brigade to reduce deliberate fires in recent years as firefighters work closely with the Brigade's Arson Task Force and local authorities to remove abandoned vehicles and fly tipping from the streets. 

There is also the Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Team (JFIS), which works with young people who show firesetting behaviour and London's fire investigators work with the police to identify arson and bring arsonists to court.

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Posted 20/09/2012 by