Deliberate Fires and Anti-Social Behaviour 2018 - 2022

FOI Number: 22039

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Freedom of Information

Published on 24 May 2022

Ref: FOI/22039  


I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request. 

Please find below a summary of our findings. 


How many deliberate fires have been recorded for the years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022? 


Please see below the number of all deliberate fires between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2022.  

Please note that the 2021/22 financial year has not yet been finalised, so the figures may well change. 

Total deliberate fires by financial year 

  2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 
Deliberate Primary Fires 1275 1138 968 901 
Deliberate Secondary Fires 3426 2358 2014 2289 
Total Deliberate Fires 4701 3496 2982 3190 

Total deliberate fires by quarter 

Month/Year 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 
Apr 253 507 318 467 
May 383 439 352 234 
Jun 456 314 253 312 
Jul 1151 375 305 273 
Aug 529 343 303 266 
Sep 295 334 307 255 
Oct 333 222 220 223 
Nov 277 180 241 240 
Dec 207 187 160 161 
Jan 225 214 131 211 
Feb 257 176 136 182 
Mar 335 205 256 366 

Fire Statistics Explanatory Notes: 

Primary fires are generally more serious fires that harm people or cause damage to property. Primary fires are defined as fires that cause damage by fire/heat/smoke and meet at least one of the following conditions: 1. any fire that occurred in a (non-derelict) building, vehicle or (some) outdoor structures 2. any fire involving fatalities, casualties or rescues 3. any fire attended by five or more pumping appliances.  

Secondary fires are generally small outdoor fires, not involving people or property. These include refuse fires, grassland fires and fires in derelict buildings or vehicles, unless these fires involved casualties or rescues, or five or more pumping appliances attended, in which case they become primary other outdoor fires.  

Deliberate fires include those where the motive for the fire was ‘thought to be’ or ‘suspected to be’ deliberate. This includes fires to an individual’s own property, others’ property or property of an unknown owner. Despite deliberate fire records including arson, deliberate fires are not the same as arson. Arson is defined under the Criminal Damage Act of 1971 as ‘an act of attempting to destroy or damage property, and/or in doing so, to endanger life’. 


How many fires have been flagged as a result of anti-social behaviour for the years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022? 

How many fires have been flagged as a result of anti-social behaviour for the years for the last four years broken down by quarter? 


This information is exempt under Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information. We do not record whether a fire or any other incident type resulted from Anti-Social Behaviour. 

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.  

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF. 

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