Spreading safety message for Bonfire Night

Fireworks at last year's display at Whitley Bay.
Fireworks at last year's display at Whitley Bay.

Residents are being reminded to stay safe this Bonfire Night.

Police are carrying out extra patrols to tackle anti-social behaviour in the run up to Saturday, targeting areas where there have been reported incidents of firework related crime or anti-social behaviour in previous years.

Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Teams have also been visiting fireworks retailers to remind them of their responsibilities and the consequences of selling fireworks to anyone under 18.

Chief Inspector Aidan Sloan said: “We want people to have fun this Bonfire Night and that means doing so safely, and having consideration for other people.

“We know we can see an increase in the number of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour to police during the darker evenings and the lead up to Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night, which is why we’ve stepped up our patrols.

“We want to remind people that its illegal for children to buy fireworks and our officers will take action if they see children being sold fireworks or any adults acting irresponsibly with fireworks and causing anti-social behaviour.

“Public safety is our priority and we would encourage people to plan ahead and go along to an organised display, which is not only safer but generally much more impressive than a back garden show.

“We know that bonfires built on land without permission can be dangerous and pose a safety threat to nearby homes and businesses.

“We’d ask people to help us keep their communities safe by reporting any unregulated bonfires to the local authority so they can safely remove them.”

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has also been out spreading the safety message.

A bonfire safety campaign, including a schools education programme with Prevention and Education officers, has been visiting secondary schools with officials at St Thomas More RC Academy, in North Shields, on Wednesday.

District Manager Graeme Hurst, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Everyone knows that bonfires and fireworks can cause devastating injuries, even if you are being careful.

“So we are encouraging people to stay safe and to attend a professional organised display.

“A key part of our campaign is talking to young people, making them aware of the dangers of bonfires and fireworks and advising them on how they can stay safe.

“Bonfire night is one of the busiest times of the year for the emergency services, we want people to enjoy themselves, to stay safe and ensure they don’t become a statistic.”

For more information and advice on how to enjoy a safe Bonfire Night visit www.twfire.gov.uk/bonfire