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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76126 Find in a Library
Title: Analysis of Arson in a Socio-economic Framework - Revisited 1976-1978 - Conclusion
Journal: Fire and Arson Investigator  Volume:31  Issue:3  Dated:(January-March 1981)  Pages:3-30
Author(s): Anonymous
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 28
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data are provided on arson suspects, arson incidents, and the processing of arson suspects in Seattle from 1976-78.
Abstract: Certain Seattle areas or communities experienced less arson activity in the 1976-1978 period; however, the central business district and surrounding fringe areas experienced greater arson levels. The motives of arson suspects arrested in the past 3 years were largely rational or generally emotionally motivated. Few of the suspects committed arson for economic reasons, although the arsonist setting a fire for rational reasons (i.e., financial gain) would generally be more difficult to arrest and this might not be represented here. Generally, arson suspects committed arson near their places of residence. The 357 suspects in the sample tended to be younger males and disproportionately black. A greater number of arson arrests relative to the total number of cases were made in the past 3 years as compared to the 1965-1975 period (14.9 percent compared to 3.7 percent). The number of fires set in mercantile, vacant, and educational structures were reduced, but resident arson grew in proportion to all arson cases. Dollar losses remained low on the average (under $100 for a majority). Arson prevention and control programs implemented by the Seattle Fire Department and other agencies during the past 3 years may have played a major role in combatting arson; however, inadequate recordkeeping made the task of quantitatively measuring their overall effectiveness impossible. Suggestions for further study are offered. Tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Arrest statistics; Arson; Arsonists; Court statistics; Crime specific countermeasures; Offender statistics; Property damage; Washington
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