A new virtual technology is to be rolled out to the country's fire brigades and police forces aimed at training officers to spot the tell tale signs of arson.

Inter-Fire VR comes as a CD-ROM supplied by the Arson Prevention Bureau.

Bureau chief executive Tony Baker, said: "It will provide the best possible training to enable investigators to recognise evidence of arson, and collect it in a way that increases the chance of conviction.

"Conviction rates for arson are low, and improved fire investigations can only lead to more successful prosecutions."

Each week there are 3,500 arson fires, resulting in 50 injuries and two deaths. Arson costs the UK £1.3 billion every year, excluding the cost of investigation, uninsured losses and the social cost.