Arson is when someone deliberately sets fire to someone else's property to damage it or to injure people.
The maximum penalty for anyone found guilty of arson is imprisonment for life. This is because of the exceptional danger involved – victims may lose all their property, be made homeless, injured, or suffer a very painful death. Even if nobody is physically hurt, you may still have to cope with financial damage.
If you’ve been affected by arson, there are some things you can do to help prevent further attacks:
- If your property has been damaged, it’s a good idea to get it repaired quickly if you can. Vandalised property can attract people who might cause more damage.
- Keep a record of all events that you think are related to the arson attack or any subsequent criminal damage or harassment. Note as much detail as possible, including the date and time of incidents.
- If possible, try to get photographic or video evidence. But only do this carefully and without putting yourself at risk – some offenders could react violently to being photographed or filmed.
- It’s a good idea to look at your home security and upgrade it if necessary. Contact us and we might be able to help you arrange that.
Get in touch: we can help
The police might refer you to our services if you report an arson attack, but anyone affected by crime can contact us directly – you don’t need to talk to the police to get our help.
You can contact us by:
- Contacting your local Victim Support team
- Calling our 24/7 Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111
- Getting in touch via our free 24/7 live chat service
- Creating a free account on My Support Space - an online resource containing interactive guides to help you manage the impact that crime has had on you.
- Requesting support via our online form
If English is not your first language and you would like some support, call our Supportline and let us know which language you speak, and we will call you back with an interpreter as soon as possible. We also welcome calls via Relay UK on 18001 08 08 16 89 111.
Families and friends affected by crime can also contact us for support and information. If you’re a child or young person under 18 and are looking for support, visit our You & Co website, where we have lots of information and tips specifically for children and young people.