Public officials fear terrorists and arsonists could target high-rise homes that are still covered in combustible Grenfell-style cladding, amid increasing delays to safety works, a Guardian investigation has found.
The estimated bill to reclad at least 288 towers in England, which failed combustibility tests after 71 people died at Grenfell Tower in west London, is now on course to reach £1bn. There are waits of up to seven months to test alternative systems to ensure they are safe, and legal disputes are holding up works elsewhere.
Concern over terrorism and arson has been voiced in central and local government, and councils are now trying to keep the locations of scores of affected blocks secret because of the perceived danger.
Freedom of information requests were sent by the Guardian to 36 councils across England known to have failed towers in their areas, in order to chart the scale of the problem with flammable cladding nine months after the Grenfell tragedy.