The Arson Prevention Bureau has welcomed the £1m in government grants given to 25 fire brigades to fund arson reduction projects.

The grants were awarded by the Arson Control Forum, a body established last year to front a renewed drive to reduce arson. The establishment of the forum was one of the key recommendations of the Home Office's review of the growing arson problem, called the Arson Scoping Study.

The bureau is a key member of the forum, which includes the Fire Brigades Union, the Crown Prosecution Service and insurance representatives. The grants included more than £500,000 to fund arson task forces in London, eight English counties and Wales.

Grants were also given to stem the increasing problem of vehicle arson in Kent, Avon and Buckinghamshire. Bureau chief executive Jane Milne said the grants showed that the government recognised the seriousness of arson. “The multi-agency approach through the Arson Control Forum is recognised as the way forward in helping to reduce the arson problem,” she said.