The Huffington Post UK | By Dina Rickman
Arson attacks have increased over the last year as the services reduce the amount of time spent on prevention of attacks, according to research by a Labour MP.
In a blog for The Huffington Post UK, shadow local government minister Chris Williamson explains how he submitted Freedom of Information requests to every fire service in England, warning that cuts so far are “just the tip of the iceberg”.
The research details how as the hours spent on arson prevention have reduced over the last year there has been a 2.7% rise in arson attacks.
“We now have the evidence that proves cutting further will result in more casualties,” Williamson warns.
His comments come after an investigation by The Independent last year which showed up to 1,500 jobs could be lost in stations around England.
“There has been a 13% reduction in hours spent on arson prevention and reducing anti-social behaviour and a 2.7% in arson attacks.
“Hours spent in training by firefighters have been reduced by more than five per cent, while numbers of injuries sustained by firefighters have risen by more than 2.5 per cent,” Williamson writes.
A spokesman for the department of communities and local government said: “This survey is statistically flawed and does not stand up to scrutiny. Official figures show deliberate fires has fallen in 2011-12 and the number of homes with a smoke alarm is at a record high; the fire service remains a vital frontline service which the Government is protecting.”