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Fire crime (Arson)

It may seem like a harmless prank, but setting fire to something, even a pile of rubbish, could have serious results.

For a start, firefighters will have to put out the flames, meaning they may be diverted from another fire where someone’s life could be at risk.

Fire can spread quickly and be unpredictable so a small fire can quickly become an inferno with disastrous results.

Then there is the criminal side of fire crime (Known as arson).

The maximum sentence is life imprisonment and any arson conviction stays on a person's record for the rest of his/her life.

A conviction for arson will seriously affect a person's job prospects as it would have to be mentioned on applications and it also prevents travel to some countries, including the USA.

With the police and fire service working closely together in Cambridgeshire, the chances of arsonists being caught are high.

When arson trends are spotted in particular areas, they join together with other agencies to catch the person responsible and prevent further fires.

Fire officers who attend fires are also trained to gather evidence to pass onto investigating police officers.

Anyone with information about arson should call the police on 101.

Some Cases of Arson: 

  • In March 2011, a 17-year-old boy, who was part of a gang that set fire to sheds in Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, was ordered to pay £400 in compensation to victims and given a six month referral order, meaning he will have to attend regular supervision appointments.
  • In October 2011, two teenage boys who started a fire that took hold of a village post office were sentenced to strict supervision orders. The boys, aged 14 and 16, admitted setting fire to a toilet roll in a large commercial wheelie bin near to the store in Town Green Road, Orwell, on March 5. The fire spread to the shop and neighbouring homes. They pleaded guilty to recklessly setting fire to the bin, plus the criminal damage of two nearby cars. At Cambridge Crown Court, both boys were sentenced to a two year referral order with two years’ supervision from the Youth Offending Team.


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