A petrol bomb was used to torch an abandoned car in Colliers Wood this week, prompting a police investigation.

Firefighters from Mitcham were called to Myrna Close, a cul-de-sac in Colliers Wood, where they found a 2005 Citroen C4 set ablaze, just after midnight yesterday (October 1).

An initial investigation found that a so-called Molotov cocktail had been used to set fire to the car, which is a glass bottle filled with petrol stuffed with a cloth wick doused in alcohol and set alight.

The fire did not spread to any other parked cars but the incident was reported to Merton police who have launched an investigation.

The incident comes a month after London Fire Brigade chiefs produced figures which showed arson attacks were down by 84 per in Merton over the last decade.

It is believed the decline is partly due to old cars being more valuable for scrap, making them less likely to be abandoned and torched.

In August 2001 old steel scrap was £35 per tonne, but it is now more like £185 per tonne in a scrap industry which is worth about £5bn a year.

Darren Munro, the Merton’s Borough Commander, said: “The dramatic decrease in deliberate fires means Londoners are a great deal safer from these needless acts of destruction than they were 10 years ago.

“We have worked incredibly hard with partners, the police and Merton Council, to bring these figures down and make the capital safer.