Sussex

Third of Sussex school fires 'started deliberately'

More than one third of fires at East and West Sussex schools were started deliberately, the BBC has learned.

Figures disclosed under a Freedom of Information Act request showed that between 2008 and 2011 there were 84 fires with 31 started deliberately.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said there had been three school fires this year, with one being deliberate.

Nine schools in West Sussex have installed sprinkler systems, the county council said.

West Sussex County Council said the figures for the county were for fires within school buildings and did not include those in school grounds.

Malcolm Tarling, from the Association of British Insurers, said: "Sometimes arson attacks are a cover to disguise crimes such as theft."

He added: "Schools these days can house a variety of very expensive electrical and computer equipment which was very attractive to thieves."

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