The filming of a staged house fire angered locals - but now the police force in the area has beenn dissolved...

Local residents plans to protest at the filming of a staged house fire on the set of Eminem‘s new film have been dropped because the local police force has been dissolved.

People living around the Highland Park area of Detroit were incensed when they learned producers of ‘8 Mile’ had planned to torch a derelict house in their area for a scene in the film. Despite Universal Pictures, the company behind the feature, offering to demolish the burned house plus two others once filming was completed, to donate $2,000 (£1,350) to a local charity and also to visit local schools to lecture pupils about the film business, people in the neighbour as well as councillors threatened legal action to stop the fire going ahead.

During a city council meeting in early December, Councilman Earl O. Wheeler Jr even labelled the arson scene “psychological genocide used to reduce our city to subhumans”.

But now, in a severe cost cutting measure, the Department of Public Safety in the Highland Park area has been permanently disbanded, leaving 57 police officers without jobs. The area is $11million (around £7.5million) in debt. It is this harsh reality that has prompted residents to drop their protests.

The 2.9-square mile Highland Park area houses some 16,700 people.

‘8 Mile’ is based loosely on the life of Eminem. Directed by Curtis Hanson, best known as the man behind the film adaptation of ‘LA Confidential’, it also stars Kim Basinger as Eminem‘s mother.