This is a message to all Watch members and Key Individuals from Harborough Police issued on behalf of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.
In an effort to tackle irresponsible bonfires and anti-social behaviour in the run up to Bonfire night, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service are working with the Police to encourage people to take a few steps to help drive down levels of unwanted fires and anti-social behaviour.
Station Manager Steve Smith said: “Although previous years’ campaigns have been successful in driving down the numbers of small fires we attend, there is still an ongoing issue of unnecessary small fires and anti-social behaviour in the run up to bonfire night. Therefore, we would like to remind people of a few basic points:
• DON’T allow rubbish to build up outside your home/premises
• DON’T give rubbish to people collecting for bonfires
• DO go to an organised fireworks event
“Last year’s successful campaign saw a reduction of 22% in the number of small fires we attended, compared with the previous year. This success is borne out of targeted planning by a number of partner agencies including the Fire Service and the Police. When fire appliances and crews are deployed to deal with these minor incidents it diverts essential resources away from potential life threatening situations which may occur anywhere in the county.
We are again providing an active presence in the community during the run up to Bonfire Night including firefighters on push bikes engaging with young people and a number of themed road shows in key areas designed to pass on the safety message.
“We are all working closely together to ensure that the community enjoys the festivities in a safe manner.”
Chief Inspector Adam Streets from Leicestershire Constabulary added: “Halloween and Bonfire Night is a great time for families and friends to get together and have some fun.
“However, there are a small minority of people who spoil it by acting dangerously and irresponsibly with fireworks with no thought for others. It is an offence to both buy and possess fireworks in a public place if you are under 18.
It is also an offence to throw fireworks or set them off in public, all of which can carry a penalty of up to a £5,000 fine or even six months in prison.
“Young people in particular need to be aware of the dangers involved to themselves and others when using fireworks and are urged to attend organised displays. Remember, please don’t play with fireworks.”
Henry Whatley (7729)
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