HC Deb 01 April 2004 vol 419 c1545W
Chris Ruane

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total cost of arson damage to schools was in each of the last 15 years. [164950]

Mr. Miliband

Because the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has overall policy lead for fire safety and arson reduction among government departments, it is ODPM rather than this Department that compiles statistics on fires in schools.

The latest figures we have from ODPM cover the years 1997–2001. They show that, on average, the annual economic costs of arson damage to schools amounted to £42 million. The numbers of school fires started deliberately did not increase steadily over that period, but fluctuated around the average of 972 per year.

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