Campaign launched for illegal bonfires

Council wardens with Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service at SITA, where illegal bonfire material will be taken and recycled.
Council wardens with Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service at SITA, where illegal bonfire material will be taken and recycled.

Organisations are joining forces to keep North Tyneside safe on bonfire night.

North Tyneside Council is being supported by Tyne and Wear Fire and rescue Service and Northumbria Police to remove illegal bonfire material and cracking down on anti-social behaviour.

Council wardens and police officers will be responding to reports of illegal bonfires, with uplifts taking place between October 31 and November 5, while letters will be delivered to homes in known ‘hotspot’ areas.

Coun John Stirling, cabinet member for environment, said: “This is another great example of us working with our partners to keep the borough safe.

“Last year, a record amount of material was removed from the borough during the campaign, preventing 49 illegal bonfires.

“As well as these types of bonfires posing a risk to nearby homes and businesses, the work in removing the material puts a big strain on council, police and fire service resources.

“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 in the borough.”

In the lead up to November 5, police offices and firefighters will also be running school assemblies.

Graeme Hurst, district manager for North Tyneside at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is one of the busiest times of the year for the emergency services.

“In the run up to bonfire night, we visit secondary schools to talk to children and young people about the dangers relating to the misuse of bonfires and fireworks and explain how they can stay safe.”

“We always encourage people to attend organised displays and warn against building illegal bonfires, which can quickly become out of control. By removing materials which could be used for illegal bonfires the council is helping to keep people safe.”

Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Nicola Musgrove added: “We want people to enjoy bonfire night and with that in mind we encourage people to attend organised fireworks displays which are planned across the borough.

“We will have extra officers on patrol in the run up to Bonfire Night and during the night itself to minimise any crime and disorder and make sure it’s a safe and enjoyable time for everyone.

“Partnership working like this helps to get the message across that we wont put up with any anti-social behaviour in our communities.”

To report an illegal bonfire, call 0345 2000 103 or the police ‘101’ number.

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