Teams are joining forces to crackdown on 'Darker Nights' disorder in South Tyneside

Teams are joining forces to crack down on darker nights disorder in the run-up to Bonfire Night and beyond.

South Tyneside Council, Northumbria Police, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company and South Tyneside Homes as part of the annual Darker Nights campaign which is running from 21 October to 11 November.

The campaign aims to tackle problems that tend to peak at this time of year, including unauthorised bonfires, underage firework sales and criminal damage.

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Cllr Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: “For younger people this is an exciting and fun time of year, with Halloween and Bonfire Night to look forward to.

South Tyneside Council Cllr Jim Foreman with Green Watch crew from South Shields Fire Station, left to right, Steven Bewick, Peter Wilson, Paull Benson, and David Horn.

“But for some of our older residents it can be a little scary and intimidating. It can also be frightening for pets.

“We, along with our partners, will be working proactively to raise understanding about the consequences of any disorder and its impact on victims, and to encourage considerate behaviour.

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“We’ve organised some free activities including a roller disco, football tournaments and a youth festival with live music and a gaming van for our young people so they can have fun with their friends safely and responsibly.”

The council’s Trading Standards team will be out talking to local retailers about the sale and safe storage of fireworks.

As Bonfire Night draws nearer, Tyne and Wear Rescue Fire Service will be visiting secondary schools in South Tyneside to talk to young people about the dangers of bonfires and fireworks.

Steven Thomas, Group Manager, Prevention and Education at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Promoting fire safety to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all of Tyne and Wears residents is a vital part of the Service’s role in serving the community especially during the seasons of darker nights.

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“The Fire Service along with our partners welcome the opportunity to engage with local young people to share crucial messages about the risks associated with setting deliberate fires and that this, and other anti-social behaviour incidents are illegal and will not be tolerated across Tyne and Wear.

“We encourage young people, their friends and families to look at some of the events being hosted in the local community, and to attend officially licensed firework displays these organised and risk assessed events go a long way to keeping people safer during the Bonfire period.”

Chief Inspector Nicola Walker, of Northumbria Police, added: “We want everyone to enjoy the Halloween and Bonfire Night period and contribute positively to their communities. It is important, however, that people do so safely while taking responsibility for themselves and being considerate of others.

“As ever, we will be working closely with our partners to positively address any issues or pockets of disorder.

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“We are proud of the community spirit and togetherness fostered across the North East, something this area is famed for, and would ask that the public continue to work with us to ensure this region remains a safe place to live and work.

“Anybody who is concerned about antisocial behaviour in their area, or is aware of any criminality, is asked to report it to us by speaking to an officer on patrol, via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or calling 101.”

Neighbourhood officers from South Tyneside Homes will be going on a number of walkabouts to talk to residents about fly tipping, littering and graffiti concerns.

Anyone who sees any abandoned waste, anti-social behaviour or illegal bonfires is asked to Report It! on (0191) 427 7000 or email www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit