Fire related fatalities have declined since 1981 across England. There were two fire related fatalities in Southampton during 2020/21. Fires can damage property, interrupt businesses and cause inconvenience, with The Association of British Insurers paying out 1bn in fire related crimes each year.
There were 667 fires in Southampton during 2020/21 which is a decrease of -13% from 2019/20. Fires can be classified as either accidental or deliberate, with the latter describing a fire which is started deliberately, but not necessarily with malicious intent. Bevois ward had the highest percentage (11.9%) of accidental fires and Bitterne ward (12.8%) the highest percentage of deliberate fires in 2020/21.
The Hampshire Arson Task Force is a partnership initiative between Hampshire Constabulary and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. The task force investigate suspicious fires and undertake reviews of linked occurrences to plan a strategic response. They also investigate non-suspicious fires to identify trends in causes, which feeds back into product recalls, trading standards, manufacturers and other stakeholders, with the aim of making the community safer.
The fire service is currently using Safe & Well visits as a fire prevention service. Visits are prioritised by age group from 65 years onwards. There were 679 Safe & Well visits in Southampton during 2020/21.
A summary report and slide set produced as part of the 2020/21 Strategic Assessment are available to download below. For more information on crime in Southampton, see the Safe City Strategic Assessment page.