Playing safe this Bonfire Night

Safe Newcastle is urging residents across Newcastle to play safe this Bonfire night. 

Bonfire Night is an exciting time, especially for children and young people. But with it comes many dangers from deliberate fires, misuse of fireworks and increase in anti social behaviour. 

Through the Darker Nights Campaign, now in its fourth year, Safe Newcastle partners, including Newcastle City Council, Tyne Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Probation Trust, YHN and Northumbria Police are working together to make the city a safer place. 

Over the last few weeks officers have been focusing their services to tackle the number of problems that increase around Bonfire Night such as fly tipping, buying and selling illegal firework sales and stockpiling waste for illegal bonfires and taking action against those responsible. 

But as the Bonfire weekend begins, the campaign needs residents to get involved. 

There are a number of simple measures people can take to help make this Bonfire night the safest the city has had. From keeping in your wheelie bin, to making sure any materials that could be taken by other people, especially young people to start fires and stored safely and securely. They are also encouraged to report piles of waste to Envirocall. 

Its not only waste material that need to be reported. Any anti social behaviour or young people under 18 carrying or using fireworks should be reported to the Police. Or if residents know of or see shops selling or trading in illegal fireworks or to people under age they should contact Trading Standards. 

Most importantly though residents should go the organised bonfire and firework displays across the city. 

Cllr Linda Hobson of Safe Newcastle said ‘Bonfire night is always an incredibly busy time for all our services, this is why its really important our residents get involved. Reporting illegal fires, waste and sales prevents injury and even death from fire and other incidents. Many people don’t realise there are other dangers as well, such as burning treated or painted wood, furnishings or plastics as they release poisonous and toxic gases. 

This weekend we will begin Operation Brigid, which includes specialist enforcement teams dedicated to tackling illegal activity and taking enforcement action, particularly around illegal fires and anti social behaviour, to make sure that our communities and residents can enjoy Bonfire night safely. 

We want everyone to have the best and safest night they can. By working in partnership we are able to bring together the right expertise and powers from the council, fire and rescue service and police to make sure this happens.” 

Chief Inspector Bruce Storey, from Newcastle Area Command, said: "We want people to enjoy Bonfire Night, however, we will take action against people who misuse fireworks as this has the potential to cause injury and distress to others. 

"Anyone caught selling fireworks illegally will also be dealt with appropriately. 

"We would always advise people to go to an organised display where they can enjoy fireworks safely. 

"We will continue working alongside our partners to make sure Bonfire Night is remembered by everyone for the right reasons." 

Offenders on Community Payback supervised by Northumbria probation Trust have also been supporting local communities in preparing for bonfire night. Martyn Strike, director of Community Payback, Northumbria Probation Trust, said: “Community Payback is about the offenders paying something back to local communities. We work with Safe Newcastle to identify projects which contribute to public safety and this week the offenders have been working with the enforcement teams to clear discarded debris from around the city which might otherwise have been used to start impromptu fires. It’s a great way to support local communities and encourage a sense of responsibility in the offenders, who have worked hard to get the task completed in time.”