Tower Hamlets still has the most deliberate fires in London despite an overall decrease, according to figures released by the London Fire Brigade yesterday.
The figures released found that throughout the course of 10 years there has been a dramatic fall in cases reported in all boroughs across London, with an average of 644 deliberate fires a week being attended to in 2003/04 to an average of 81 per week recorded during the previous year.
Tower Hamlets recorded the most cases with 357 deliberate fires in the last financial year – still a dramatic 85% decrease from the recorded 2387 in 2003/04.
The other EastLondonLines boroughs have also seen a major rate of decrease; Hackney being the highest, with 89%, going from 1078 to 116, followed by an 88% decrease in Lewisham, from 970 to 118, and Croydon with a 82% decrease from 1172 to215.
This contrasts with the 2011 London Fire Brigade ‘fire map’ from 2011, in which Croydon stood out for having the highest incidence of serious fires and arson in London.
The London Fire Brigade believes the decrease is due the value of scrap cars increasing throughout the years, therefore less people abandoning their vehicles and leaving potential arsonists with fewer targets to set ablaze.
Efforts continue to be made to moderate deliberate fires even further despite the drastic improvements and locals are encouraged to inform their local authorities of any abandoned cars and rubbish that may attract fire starters.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “We cannot be complacent…I would urge anyone who sees an abandoned vehicle or dumped rubbish to report it to their local council, who will help get it removed so it cannot become a target for would be arsonists.”