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Almost 54% of intentional fires are vehicle fires: Dubai Police

Main causes for deliberate vehicle fires are personal differences and insurance claim

Gulf News

Dubai: The Department of Criminal Evidence and Criminology at Dubai Police revealed statistics that indicate that intentional vehicle fires account for 54 per cent of all intentional fire cases reported over the past three years.

However, the total percentage of fires that were started deliberately over the past three years is only 8.4 per cent, which they noted was a low figure.

Expert Mohammad Ahmad Abu Eita, from the fire investigation division, said that the number of cases of fire that the division looked into and discovered to be deliberate between the years 2010 –2012 is 163 cases out of the 1,949 cases.

He said that in 2010, 46 per cent of deliberate fires were vehicle fires, with 30 vehicles burned, of which five were motorbikes. In 2011, the percentage was 5, with a total number of 30 vehicles, of which 26 were cars, one pick-up trucks and five motorbikes.

Finally, Abu Eita added, that percentage went up to 56 per cent in 2012, with a total of 25 vehicles, which included 20 cars, three motorbikes and two heavy mechanical vehicles.

Colonel Fahd Al Mutawa, Director of the Criminal Evidence and Criminology Department, said that analysing such statistics that indicate specific time frames helps them make inferences about human behaviour, which help in making informed decisions or put into place plans that help contain such cases.

He added that deliberate fire cases require reading and analysis in order to identify the causes that led to the crime.

Al Mutawa warned against the prevalence of setting vehicles on fire intentionally for reasons such as personal differences or to obtain insurance money, as he said it is very easy for experts at the department to figure out the causes. He explained that if such acts are committed as an act of revenge because of personal differences, which is usually common among young people, it has huge consequences. If setting the vehicle on fire results in a death, the punishment can go up to capital punishment.