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The evolution of child fire involvement
Fire and Arson Investigator Magazine (2007)
  • Rebekah Doley, Bond University

In a legal context the term “arson” is often not applied to child fire-setting because it is generally accepted that children as young as 10 years cannot form an “intention” to commit a crime. Sometimes the term “fire-play” is used as an alternative, yet many child development specialists and educators see this as a misnomer because, the word “play” connotes positive, learning activities. Statistically, however, it seems a consistent trend world-wide that a significant number of deliberately lit fires are started by juveniles. It raises the question, then, whether these young people have “always” lit fires or whether this is a relatively recent (and hopefully short-lived) occurrence for them. Despite the fact that arson continues to concern our communities, there is relatively little information that traces the progression of fire-starting across the lifespan of an individual. To go some way towards rectifying that imbalance, this paper provides an overview of the progression of fire involvement in childhood through to adolescence.
  • evolution,
  • child fire involvement,
  • arson
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Publisher Statement
Published Version.

Doley, R. (2007). The evolution of child fire involvement. Fire and Arson Investigator Magazine, pp. 1-4.

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© Copyright The International Association of Arson Investigators, 2007
Citation Information
Rebekah Doley. "The evolution of child fire involvement" Fire and Arson Investigator Magazine (2007)
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