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Arson Prevention and Control

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
This program brief highlights the goal of the Arson Prevention and Control Program, which is to improve the capabilities of State and local units of government to prevent, detect, and control various forms of economic arson, and describes the program's critical elements, experience, and objectives.
The program's five objectives include reducing the incidence, economic loss, and risk of lives through prevention measures and reducing the incentive for economic arson. Increasing the rates of detection, arrest, prosecution, and conviction of individuals or conspirators involved in acts of economically motivated arson is a third objective. The fourth objective is to improve data base and analysis capabilities to determine likely targets of arson, patterns of incendiary and/or suspicious fires, and arsonists. The final objective is to facilitate the development and implementation of comprehensive, coordinated antiarson programs. The program's concept hinges on the initiation and management of a comprehensive strategy which blends prevention and control activities into a systematic approach to arson. Critical elements necessary to implement the concept are planning and coordination to include government agencies, community groups, and private sector organizations; the use of community groups and private industry as sources of information and resources; an accurate and reliable information system; and timely enforcement responses. Evaluations of the 1979-1980 Arson Control Assistance Program showed that the most effective antiarson programs were those which centralized the coordination function in a single body. An 11-item bibliography is included, as are 3 training/technical assistance sources and a Federal contact.