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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67278 Find in a Library
Title: PREPARED STATEMENT OF JAMES E JONES, JR (FROM ARSON-FOR-PROFIT - ITS IMPACT ON STATES AND LOCALITIES, P 77-105, 1977 - SEE NCJ-67274)
Author(s): J E JONES
Corporate Author: Alliance of American Insures
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Alliance of American Insures
Chicago, IL 60606
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN INSURERS TESTIFIES BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS WITH REGARD TO ARSON AND PROPOSALS TO COMBAT IT.
Abstract: THE ALLIANCE RECOGNIZES THAT THE INCIDENCE OF ARSON HAS INCREASED TREMENDOUSLY IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, THAT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ARSON LOSESS ARE EQUAL TO, OR GREATER THAN, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BURGLARY AND AUTO THEFT LOSSES, AND THAT SCHEMES FOR INSURANCE FRAUD ARE BECOMING MORE AND MORE HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED AND COMPLEX. THE PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED BY THE ALLIANCE INCLUDE THE LACK OF COORDINATION BETWEEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FIRE SERVICES IN THEIR ARSON-RELATED EFFORTS; INADEQUATE DATA COLLECTION, ANALYSIS, AND DISTRIBUTION OF KNOWLEDGE (STATISTICS ARE NONEXISTENT OR SKETCHY AT BEST); AND CONFLICTING LAWS AND GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. IN ADDITION, INSURANCE COMPANY PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES IN PROCESSING FIRE INSURANCE UNDERWRITING SHOULD BE REASSESSED, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS SHOULD BE EXPANDED AND IMPROVED, PUBLIC AWARENESS MUST BE INCREASED, AND FUNDING FOR ARSON CONTROL PROGRAMS MUST BE IMPROVED. THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE STATISTICS COMPILATION ON THE CRIME OF ARSON WOULD BE WITH THE PASSING OF SENATE BILL 1882 TO RECLASSIFY ARSON FROM A PART II TO A PART I CRIME. OPPONENTS ARGUE THAT SUCH A RECLASSIFICATION IS NOT WITHIN THE CAPABILITY OF MOST POLICE AGENCIES; THIS POSITION IS IRRATIONAL GIVEN THE MAJOR AND GROWING PROBLEM OF ARSON IN NATIONAL PROPORTIONS THAT CANNOT BE MEASURED BY EXISTING REPORTING MECHANISMS. THE ALLIANCE FURTHER RECOMMENDS THAT MORE FUNDS MUST BE EXTENDED TO STUDYING BOTH THE INCIDENCE OF ARSON AND ARSONISTS' PERSONALITIES. MORE GRANTS MUST BE PROVIDED TO STATE AND LOCAL JURISDICTIONS FOR PROGRAMS. LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AND INVESTIGATORS MUST RECEIVE IMPROVED TRAINING. SEMINARS SHOULD BE HELD, AND STATE PENAL CODES MUST BE OVERHAULED TO IMPROVE THE CERTAINTY OF ARSON CONVICTION AND PUNISHMENT. THE ALLIANCE HAS COMPLETED A MODEL ARSON LAW FOR UPDATING STATE PENAL CODES WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO ALL STATE LEGISLATURES FOR INSPECTION. TWO APPENDED FACT SHEETS RELATE ARSON FACTS AND FIGURES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE PART I RECLASSIFICATION. (MHP)
Index Term(s): Arson; Firefighters; Offense classification
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67278

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