20 Nov 2009

Arson linked to later crime

8:43 am on 20 November 2009

Research has found a strong link between children lighting fires and adult criminal behaviour.

Researchers examined the criminal records of 200 young people who went through a fire service education programme after lighting fires, and found more than half went on to commit other crimes.

Moderate offences such as burglary were committed by 40%, while 15% went on to commit severe offences including robbery and serious assault.

Clinical psychologist Dr Ian Lambie, who led the study, says a multi-agency approach needs to be built on, to reduce the risk of these young people going on to more serious crime.