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Arson

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many homes were deliberately set on fire each day on average in each year from 1997 to 2001; and what the estimated cost to the fire service was in each year. [120032]

The following table contains information on malicious fires in dwellings in the UK from 1997 to 2001. Malicious fires are those where malicious or deliberate ignition was proved or suspected.Information on the cost to the fire service is not available before 1999. The estimates in the table are derived from applying an average fire service response cost for domestic fires of £2,800 to the totals.

Malicious fires in dwellings, UK, 1997–2001
YearTotalAverage per dayEstimated annual cost (£ million)
199713,78438
199813,35937
199913,8623838.8
200014,2153939.8
200114,7694041.3

Note:

Data for 2001 are provisional. The definition of dwelling locations include caravans, houseboats and other non-buildings used solely as permanent dwellings

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many malicious car fires occurred in (a) 1997, (b) 1998 and (c) 1999; and what the estimated cost to the fire service was in each year. [120033]

In the UK there were 36,403 malicious car fires in 1997, 42,659 in 1998 and 56,207 in 1999. Malicious fires are those where malicious or deliberate ignition was proved or suspected.Information on the cost to the fire service is not held centrally before 1999, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Applying an average fire service response cost for vehicle fires of £880 to each malicious car fire attended gives an estimated total cost for malicious car fires of £49.5 million in 1999.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the cost to the UK economy was of arson in each year since 1997. [120034]

Information regarding the cost to the UK economy of arson is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.For England and Wales the estimated total cost to the economy of arson in 1999, when information was collected centrally for the first time, was £2.1 billion. In 2000 it was estimated as £2.2 billion; the estimated costs for 2001 are being prepared and will be published in due course.