Police step up patrols for bonfire night

Police are reminding people not to leave wheelie bins out
Police are reminding people not to leave wheelie bins out

Police are stepping up patrols throughout South Tyneside as they gear up for what is expected to be one of their busiest times of the year.

Halloween and Bonfire Night are seen as traditionally the time when the number of calls of anti-social behaviour rise.

We’re really pleased with the success of the Darker Nights campaign this Halloween.

Sarah Pitt

A campaign aimed at tackling bad behaviour during the period has, so far, been hailed a success.

This year, police received 68 complaints of anti-social behaviour on the night of October 31 - however not all were directly related to Halloween - down from 72 the previous year.

Tomorrow, as hundreds of people head out to firework displays or hold their own, they are hoping, safety messages will be taken onboard.

Superintendent Sarah Pitt said: “We’re really pleased with the success of the Darker Nights campaign this Halloween with a relatively quiet night across Sunderland and South Tyneside.

“Over the past few years the number of anti-social behaviour incidents has remained pretty consistent with a slight fall this year, however, it’s important to recognise not all of these will relate to Halloween.

“Our Darker Nights campaign will continue across the weekend and we will continue to work with our community safety partners to ensure a safe and enjoyable bonfire night for everyone

As part of the Darker Nights campaign, firefighters have been visiting schools to raise awareness of the dangers of fireworks and bonfires, while the council’s trading standard officers have been calling into businesses to remind them of their responsibilities.

People are also being reminded not to leave their wheelie bins out in the street after they are often stolen and used by firestarters to transport wood for bonfires.

The Darker Nights campaign is a joint venture between the police, fire service, South Tyneside Council, South Tyneside Homes and Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company.

It is now in it’s 10th year and aims to tackle illegal bonfires, underage firework sales and criminal damage,