Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service thank communities after drop in deliberate fires over bonfire weekend

The Fire Service has thanked communities across Tyne and Wear after they recorded a 15 per cent reduction in deliberate fires on Bonfire Night.
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Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) had led a regional wide safety campaign in recent weeks ahead of what is historically their busiest time of the year.

They had asked parents to speak to children about the consequences of anti-social behaviour and deliberate fire-setting with a 94 per cent increase in incidents last year.

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Firefighters teamed up with police, paramedics, teachers, medical professionals and local authority staff to share prevention messaging.

That included staff from TWFRS’s Prevention and Education team delivering 45 safety sessions to 25 schools across the county.

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Officers attending a fire
Credit: TWFRSOfficers attending a fire
Credit: TWFRS
Officers attending a fire Credit: TWFRS

The fire chief overseeing Community Safety at the Service has praised the public, partner agencies and the dedicated staff involved in the response.

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It comes as TWFRS recorded a 15 per cent decrease in deliberate secondary fires on Bonfire Night compared to last year, with no major disorder of note.

The Service say they experienced some pockets of anti-social behaviour by a small minority but no incident resulted in injury or damage to the public or emergency responders.

Area Manager Paul Russell said: “Bonfire Weekend is traditionally seen as a very busy period for the emergency services and blue light crews are always poised to help people stay safe in local communities across the region.

“Whether it be attending residential fires or being on standby to ensure bonfire and firework displays go off without any issues.

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“Unfortunately we do experience isolated incidents where some situations have got out of hand, or where deliberate fires have been set.

“But overall we’d like to thank residents and businesses for their cooperation in the build-up and delivery of the Bonfire Weekend.”

The Service will be publishing the number of incidents that firefighters attended across Tyne & Wear across the Bonfire Weekend in due course.

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But on November 5 they have confirmed that they received reports of 61 deliberate secondary fires. These are fires where loose refuse or waste has been set on fire in public places.

That figure is down 15 per cent on Bonfire Night 2022 where the Service received 72 reports of deliberate secondary fires.

Across the Darker Nights campaign worked with blue light partners and all of the local councils in Tyne and Wear to carry out prevention work.

They also worked closely with the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, Nexus, Your Homes Newcastle, Karbon Homes, Gentoo, the Northern Regional Burn Centre and Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter.