Cracking down on illegal bonfires

Representatives from North Tyneside Council, Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service who are removing illegal bonfires.
Representatives from North Tyneside Council, Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service who are removing illegal bonfires.

Organisations are joining together to crackdown on illegal bonfires in North Tyneside.

In the run up to November 5, North Tyneside Council will be removing illegal bonfire material from streets and cracking down on anti-social behaviour.

It is part of the local authority’s Autumn Campaign, which is receiving support from Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Together they will respond to reports of unauthorised bonfires built on public land, as well as visiting areas where they have previously been built.

The council will also deliver letters to households in known hotspot areas.

Coun John Stirling, cabinet member for environment, said: “The safety of our residents is always a top priority for us and our partners, and unauthorised bonfires can pose a risk to the public and nearby housing and businesses, as well as damaging the ground they are erected on, which is why the uplifts are so important.

“We want residents to have a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night and the best way to do that is by going along to one of number of organised displays taking place.”

Chief Inspector Aidan Sloan, from Northern Area Command, added: “Northumbria Police want people to enjoy a safe Bonfire Night and are encouraging people to attend organised fireworks and bonfire displays.

“These events are much safer and more spectacular than having fireworks at your own home.

“We want to remind residents not to build ‘illegal’ bonfires as they will be removed.

“Unauthorised bonfires built on land without permission can pose a safety threat to nearby homes, businesses and vehicles.

“In the past our joined up approach to tackling the problem of unauthorised bonfires by working with the fire service, local authority and other partners has proved very successful in preventing serious injuries and disorder during Bonfire Night period, which is what we are aiming to maintain this year.”

Before Bonfire Night, firefighters will also be running school assemblies, reinforcing essential safety messages to young people.

Group manager Graeme Hurst, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “At this time of year we see an increase in opportunist fires, which endanger property, as well as the lives of local people and our firefighters.

“It’s also hugely helpful to contact the council if you notice any discarded items which could be set on fire or an illegal bonfire being built.”

Residents are encouraged to attend one of the organised displays taking place in the North Tyneside area, which include:

• North Tyneside Fireworks: The Links, Whitley Bay; Sunday, November 6, from 6pm. 

• Segedunum Fireworks: Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend; Thursday, November 3, fireworks from 6.30pm, doors open at 4pm.

• Tynemouth Cricket Club: Percy Park, North Shields; Saturday, November 5, from 5pm.

• Blue Flames Sporting Club, Whitley Road, Benton; Saturday, November 5, from 5.30pm.

To report an illegal bonfire, call the council on 0345 200 0103 or the police 101 number.

All recovered materials will be taken to SITA UK’s North Tyneside Transfer Station for recycling.