ROTHERHAM'S arson incidents are down by a quarter over the last year as fire service prevention work continues to make a positive impact.
Latest figures from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) show that there were 1,179 deliberately started fires from April 2009 to March 2010, more than 400 down on the same period for 2008/09.
Across the county, there were 5,831 arson incidents—around 2,155 less than the previous year.
News of the falling figures came a week after the service also revealed a dramatic cut in fire deaths in South Yorkshire, with a near 50 per cent reduction in fatalities in accidental house fires.
A spokesman from SYFR said: “The drop in deliberate fires is further proof that the service's arson reduction work is having an impact across the county.
“Since 2006, the number of deliberate fires has halved.”
Young people have been the focus of much of the arson reduction work, with firefighters working with youngsters on a number of courses including LIFE, ASDAN and ARC.
SYFR's Phil Shillito, Head of Prevention & Protection, said: "As well as taking up valuable fire service resources, deliberate fires put lives in danger and blight the appearance of communities.
“So it's extremely encouraging that we continue to see a reduction in car fires, bin fires and other antisocial behaviour related fires across South Yorkshire.
"These figures show that our educational work with young people to highlight the dangers of arson is having a positive impact. We will continue to work hard alongside our partners to drive down deliberate fires."