Criminal Damage and Arson
The offence of criminal damage is destroying or damaging property of others and is covered by the Criminal Damage Act 1971.
The offence of criminal damage involves:
Destroying or damaging any property belonging to another.
Intending to destroy or damage property.
Being reckless with property which causes damage or destroys it.
Criminal Damage which is caused by a fire, will be treated as arson.
Arson is intentionally and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wild or woodland areas, bins, vehicles or other property with the intent to cause damage or injury.
An individual found guilty of arson could possibly be imprisoned for life. This maximum penalty reflects the extremely serious, potentially life-changing, consequences the crime of arson can have on the victim and their families. This can include victims losing their home and all their belongings and suffering serious harm. This also takes into account the fact that arson can have serious consequences for neighbouring properties if the fire takes hold.
How can I protect myself?
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service provides advice on how to protect yourself from arson www.bedsfire.gov.uk/home.aspx
You can also contact Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service for a home fire safety visit by ringing (01234) 845000.
Where can I get help or further information?
If the criminal damage or arson is in progress, dial 999 immediately.
You can also report instances on the police website or by calling 101.
If you have any information which you think may relate to the criminal damage or arson keep a record and make sure you tell the authorities, no matter how small it may seem.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity helping police locate criminals and solve crimes through anonymous reporting. The site also provides crime prevention advice for a number of crimes.