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Arson - Clery Crimes/Hierarchy Rules

Arson

a. Arson is willful or malicious burning or the attempt to burn with or without intent to defraud a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.

There are three categories of arson:

  1. Structural - houses, townhouses, duplexes, apartments, hotels, inns, dormitories, barns, garages, warehouse stores, restaurants, offices, churches, jails, schools, monuments, buildings under construction
  2. Mobile - cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, trailers, planes, boats
  3. Other - crops, timber, fences, signs, merchandise stored outside a structure

Comments

  • One offense for each distinct arson operation originating within the reporting jurisdiction is counted.
  • Count only if investigated. This is the only Clery Act offense that requires an investigation prior to including in statistics.
  • Because the Clery Act requires institutions to disclose all arsons that occur on their Clery geography, you must have every fire that is not known to be accidental (such as a cooking fire) investigated.
  • For multiple offenses, one of which is arson, report the arson and apply the Hierarchy Rule to determine the most serious offense to report.
  • Count any fire that investigation determines to meet the UCR definition of arson regardless of the value of the property damage.
  • Count incidents where an individual willfully or maliciously burns his or her own property.
  • The fire must be more than suspicious or of an unknown nature of origin.
  • An arson determination must be made by either a fire authority or by another individual experienced in arson investigation. The latter includes someone at your institution who has received training in arson investigation by a fire authority.

Examples of Arson

  • Scenario 1: A student is killed by what an investigation determines was a deliberately set fire in his campus residence hall room. Include this as one Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter and one Arson in the on-campus category and one Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter and one Arson in the on-campus student housing facility category.
  • Scenario 2: A suspicious fire is reported in a campus academic building, but fire authorities cannot determine if it was intentionally set. Do not include this incident as Arson in your Clery Act statistics.
  • Scenario 3: A resident of a noncampus Greek house sets fire to his couch on the lawn in front of the house in celebration of a school football victory. Investigators determine that the incident was Arson. Include this as one Arson in the noncampus category.
  • Scenario 4: A fire is reported in a campus dormitory. Ten students are killed as a direct result of the flames and asphyxiation. Two more students die from internal injuries when they attempt to jump to safety. Six people are hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns. Investigation determines that the fire was intentional. Include this as one Arson in the on-campus category and the on-campus student housing facility category and 12 Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughters and six Aggravated Assaults in the on-campus category and the on-campus student housing facility category. This Arson, along with the resulting deaths and injuries, must also be included in your fire statistics described in Chapters 12 and 13.
  • Scenario 5: A student is seen setting fire to a paper advertisement on an on-campus dormitory bulletin board. Investigation determines that the student willfully set fire to the paper. Include this as one Arson in the on-campus and the on-campus student housing facility categories and also as one intentional fire in your fire statistics described in Chapters 12 and 13.
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