To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of fires (a) in retail premises and (b) on farms were caused by arson in 2002. 
2001 is the most recent year for which data are available. In 2001, of 5,687 fires in retail premises, 46 per cent. (2,474 fires) were malicious. Of 1,267 fires in agricultural premises, 38 per cent. (486 fires) were malicious. Malicious fires are those where malicious or deliberate ignition was proved or suspected.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many arson attacks there were on churches between 1998 and 2002; and if he will make a statement. [1 17894]
Data are only available for all places of worship, which includes churches. The following table contains the information on malicious fires up to 2001, the most recent year for which data are available. Malicious fires are those where malicious or deliberate ignition was proved or suspected.
|Fires in places of worship, United Kingdom|
|1 Figures for 2001 are provisional|
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many malicious car fires occurred in (a) 2000, (b) 2001 and (c) 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
In 2000 there were 62,964 malicious car fires in the UK (from a total of 82,002 car fires). In 2001 there were 70,107 such fires (from a total of 88,242 car fires). Data are not yet available for 2002. Malicious fires are those where malicious or deliberate ignition was proved or suspected.Arson is one of the major fire threats facing us today. That is why in 1998 the Government commissioned a study into the arrangements for dealing with the problem of deliberate fire-setting. The study reported in 1999 and made a number of far-reaching recommendations; the most significant of which was the creation of the Government-led Arson Control Forum to provide the strategic direction to the national fight against arson. The forum was launched in April 2001. The forum is now taking forward a programme of preventative measures that address arson in its many guises. The forum continues to fund a number of locally based arson control initiatives and has issued guidance on a variety of arson related subjects.Car fires comprise a considerable element of the deliberate fires problem and Government have taken a number of steps to address this. New powers will enable local authorities to remove unlicensed vehicles more quickly and tighten vehicle registration procedures. Also, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is looking at ways to improve the links between the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and local councils to make it easier to trace the owners of derelict or abandoned vehicles.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many homes were deliberately set on fire each day on average in 2002. 
In 2001, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 14,769 malicious fires on dwellings in the UK, an average of 40 per day. Malicious fires are those where malicious or deliberate ignition was proved or suspected.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will estimate the amount of money arson fires cost the UK in 2002. 
The most recent estimates are for 1999 and for England and Wales only. In that year it is estimated that arson cost the economy just under £2.1 billion.