Arson Task Force
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Hampshire's Arson Task Force Team

The team help to increase the detection and conviction rate of arsonists

The team is made up of Fire Investigators from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with Hampshire Police to determine how fires start.

When fires are started deliberately the team gather evidence and convict arsonists who have not only broken the law, but have put their community and the emergency services at risk.

The team are supported by their four legged colleagues Millie, Harvey and Ruby who are so famous they have their own Dog Blog and Twitter account. Follow their paws at @HantsFireDogs

To find out more about our canine colleagues training click here:

Team's background

In 2006 a report identified that only 9% of arson cases recorded by the police resulted in an offender being identified, with the conviction rate being even lower.

To help increase the detection and conviction rates of arsonists, the Fire Service and Police, were asked to focus on improving joint investigation of deliberate fires.

The Hampshire Arson Task Force (ATF), a partnership initiative between Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, was established in 2007.

What does the team do? 

  • the ATF is an intelligence-led unit delivering tactical advice and specialist support helping both organisations in our drive to combat arson offences across Hampshire
  • the unit attends crime scenes in order to co-ordinate an investigative response, collate evidence packages and offer fire and police colleagues specialist advice and guidance in relation to the investigation of deliberate and serious fires 
  • the ATF has its very own fire investigation search dog, a black Labrador called Saxon, who is trained to detect the presence of ignitable liquids used in deliberate fire setting, and can assist in identifying exhibits for seizure 
  • they are supported by colleagues from the Fire and Arson Support Unit who engage with the community by delivering witness appeal posters to residents and businesses, and displaying witness appeal boards, as and when necessary 
  • the combined units' responsibilities also include conducting arson reduction surveys in problem areas, arranging emergency Safe & Well, home fire safety visits, and undertaking reviews of linked occurrences to plan a strategic response