Bonfire Night 2022: Fire chiefs reveal the eye-watering cost of wheelie bin fires to Tyne and Wear tax payers after attending over 3000 incidents in the last year
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has (TWFRS) revealed the eye-watering cost of deliberate wheelie bin fires to the taxpayers in the last 12 months as they urge residents to take care in the run up to Bonfire Night.
Deliberate wheelie bin fires cost taxpayers more than £90,000 over 2021/22, with the fire service attending more than 3,500 deliberate refuse fires over the 12-month period.
From April 2021 to March this year, firefighters attended 3,602 deliberate bin fires across Tyne and Wear, with the majority linked to teenage anti-social behaviour.
Incidents included 284 fires in the two weeks leading up to Bonfire Night last year – the busiest time of the year for TWFRS.
TWFRS has now launched a Darker Nights campaign that will see them step up prevention activity across the region.
Firefighters are working closely with local authorities and housing associations to put preventative measures in place, including additional bulky waste collections, reminding residents to bring their bin straight in after collection and encouraging them to report deliberate fire setting.
Group manager Paul Thompson, head of Service Delivery West at TWFRS, said: “This is not a new issue, we are experiencing issues with deliberate bin fires across the Service area.
“We are working closely with police, the local authority and housing providers to address it but we also need the help of parents and carers of young people.
“Some young people may not understand the financial burden this creates for our region so we need your support to help educate them.
“Many of these bin fires are linked to youth anti-social behaviour and we are concerned that some young people are putting themselves at risk.
“They may consider this to be harmless fun but it leaves the taxpayer out of pocket, residents with no bin and young people are putting themselves at risk.
“The toxins released by these fires when inhaled can cause serious health problems in the future and often, people are close to the fire meaning they are increasing their risk of getting hurt.
Anyone with information about deliberate fire-setting can report it through the anonymous FireStoppers service.