Rehab programme for firesetters to be rolled out in Cambs after successful trial

Icarus staff from left to right community safety officers Kevin James and Jill Gibbs, head of safegu

Icarus staff from left to right community safety officers Kevin James and Jill Gibbs, head of safeguarding at CFRS Wendy Coleman, CSO Barbara Russell and senior probation officer for Peterborough and Fenland Mark Swain. Picture: CFRS - Credit: Archant

A rehabilitation programme for people convicted of an arson offence is set to be rolled out throughout Cambridgeshire – a year after it was first trialled.

The pioneering Icarus Programme was devised specifically for Cambs Fire and Rescue Service by forensic psychologist Dr Jennifer Marshall.

It is the first programme of its kind in the UK and initially focused on offenders in the north of the county.

Dr Marshall devised the scheme based on her experience working with individuals who have an index offence of arson.

Instead of group therapy sessions, the programme allows those convicted of arson to work with staff from the fire service who volunteer to work with them on a one-to-one basis.


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The therapeutic programme was introduced to CFRS in 2014 when community safety officers went in to Peterborough Prison to work with arson offenders.

They work alongisde offenders over several months and cover six different modules – such as fire setting behaviour, patterns and cycles, problem solving and social skills, self-esteem and understanding and managing emotions.

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