The number of deliberate fires in Croydon has dropped by 72 per cent over the last ten years.

According to new figures, last year the number of deliberate fires in Croydon was 312, or around six each week.

This was an improvement on the number in 2001/2, where fire crews attended on average 22 deliberate fires a week.

Despite the downward trend fire chiefs are urging people to report any abandoned vehicles or rubbish to their local councils and not to store a large amount of combustible materials against their property.

London Fire Brigade have set up a number of schemes to reduce deliberate fires.

Firefighters work closely with local authorities and the Brigade's Arson Taskforce to remove abandoned vehicles and fly tipping from the streets.

The Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Team (JFIS) also works with young people who show firesetting behaviour and how fire investigator's work with the police to identify arson and bring arsonists to court.

Chris Bigland, Borough Commander for Croydon said: "The dramatic decrease in deliberate fires means Londoners are a great deal safer from these needless acts of destruction than they were 10 years ago.

"However, we cannot be complacent. If people see an abandoned vehicle or rubbish dumped in the street, they should contact their local council, which will help get it removed as it cannot become a target for would be arsonists."