A common problem, a shared solution
Arson is a problem for the Fire Service, the Police and the Ambulance Service. It endangers lives and diverts valuable resources. A number of Arson Task Forces are in place across the country, which is a great step forward for partnership working.
The way forward
Arson Task Forces are the beginning of the solution but not the end of it. There needs to be closer working between the Fire Service and the Police to tackle arson head-on. Information sharing and co-ordinated investigation of crime scenes are essential. Many arsonists are habitual and re-offenders are estimated to account for a large proportion of arson attacks across the country.
Elimination through investigation
The APB report 'Fire Investigation in Scotland' examines current strengths and weaknesses for the current system of investigation and make proposals for an alternative model of organisation, management and delivery of effective fire investigation in Scotland. Investigation underpins the identification of a fire as arson through to the conviction of the arsonist. Fire investigation needs much closer co-operation and sharing of expertise between the different agencies involved to ensure that it is effective.