TEENAGERS from two West Shields estates have joined forces to spread a fire safety message.
Members of Fearless, which is based at Chuter Ede Community Centre in Biddick Hall, have been hitting the streets on the hunt for wheelie bins put out the night before collection.
If any are found, they are being slapped with a sticker, warning people of the dangers of leaving their bins out overnight.
In less than an hour of walking about the streets of Biddick Hall last Tuesday, the group – aged between 15 and 17 years old from Biddick Hall and Whiteleas areas – found 44 bins filled with rubbish had been put out on the streets, posing a potential fire risk.
Station manager Ian Cuskin at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and the chairman of the Lighter Nights campaign, said: “Fires involving wheelie bins are a constant issue for the fire and rescue service, and can pose a serious risk to the public on occasions.
“We welcome the involvement of the Fearless group.
“This is one of the many worthwhile initiatives going on as part of the Lighter Nights Campaign.
“Hopefully, by continuing to work with people of all ages, we will continue to reduce the impact of all types of fires to create a safer South Tyneside.” The Lighter Nights campaign is a joint initiative between Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, the police, South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes.
It aims to reduce anti-social behaviour, which tends to increase in the lighter nights.
Fearless is the youth division of crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers, which offers young people a place to go to seek advice on crime issues affecting them.
Regional manager for Crimestoppers Dave Hunter said: “It’s great to see young people giving up their own time to try to help make their communities a safer place for everyone.”
For information on Fearless, visit www.fearless.org/