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RURAL Arson Control

22

Insurors in high risk areas should be encouraged to use the Two-Part Insurance Application Form that industry agents developed to discourage arson-for- profit.

Insurors, underwriters, adjustors and their counterparts should develop better working procedures that deter or detect arson fraud schemes. Examples of such arrangements should be gathered and then disseminated through such chan- nels as the Arson Resource Center, the Insurance Committee for Arson Control, and the Insurance Crime Prevention Institute.

Local and state investigators should be familiar with document search tech- niques so that they can identify insurors through public records.

Case Feedback

Need Statement:

Timely feedback to fire departments about cases in their areas.

Discussion:

It was widely acknowledged among participating fire officers and investigators that prompt feedback about case progress and disposition helps to maintain fire department interest in arson. This has a synergistic effect in that it can lead to better information flow between fire service personnel and fire investigators.

The primary requirements for such a feedback mechanism are that they be quick, simple, and inexpensive. As a courtesy, investigators should notify fire departmentsof thedisposition and status of cases in which they have an interest.

This is sound in concept but, as some investigators interviewed pointed out, difficult in practice due to the time requirement it imposes. Others expressed a concern that they might compromise an ongoing investigation or violate privacy standards.

Arson Control Expert Concurrence

Agree 23

Disagree 1

Solution Options:

One option that has proven effective in several settings involves state fire marshals announcing case clearances and convictions at meetings of the county firefighter's and county fire chiefs associations. This allowed the fire marshal to credit individuals and departments in a public setting but without revealing sensitive information. Another alternative involves investigators recording a videotaped briefing to update firefighters about the current status of cases. Here again, investigators need not reveal sensitive information or compromise on- going investigations. Recorded briefings have certain advantages. They can reinforce training points, offer the further safeguard of being reviewed and

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