Extra patrols for a safe Bonfire weekend

02 Nov 2017 09:44 AM

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Police are stepping up patrols in the Wansbeck area this weekend to help keep people safe during Bonfire celebrations.

Officers are targeting resources in areas which have previously experienced incidents, to deter fireworks misuse and prevent anti-social behaviour (ASB). 

Ashington Neighbourhood Acting Inspector Mick Aspey said: "We want everyone to have a safe and fun time enjoying this weekend's Bonfire events and would encourage people to go to an organised event so they can enjoy a great display of fireworks in a safe environment.

"If you do decide to buy your own fireworks, the law is very clear, people buying fireworks must be 18 or over. It is the responsibility of stores to ask for proof of age identification if they are unsure. We know the vast majority of retailers take their responsibility very seriously and work closely with us to help keep people safe.

"Misusing fireworks can have devastating effects, fireworks should only be handled by a responsible adult. It is also illegal for under 18s to be in possession of fireworks. If children have fireworks they could injure themselves or others by misusing them. 

"People found playing around with fireworks could face being arrested and having a criminal record. We want to send a clear message that firework related anti-social behaviour (ASB) will not be tolerated and officers will deal robustly with any offenders."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “While this time of year is full of fun and excitement for young people, we must remember that these occasions can cause distress and fear among the most vulnerable in our communities and can involve anti-social behaviour. I’m pleased to hear there will be extra patrols to provide reassurance. It’s important to respect people’s privacy if they choose not to get involved and ensure everyone feels safe.”

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) want all residents to have a safe and fun fireworks evening. The safest way to see fireworks is to attend an organised display, where you can view a spectacular display in a safe environment.

Mark McCarty, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at NFRS said, "Fireworks and bonfires are a lot of fun but it’s very important for residents to be cautious and to enjoy the celebrations responsibly.

“Where possible we recommend residents to visit organised public firework displays which are safer and more cost effective."

Patrols will also be on the lookout for unauthorised bonfires built on land without permission, these can pose a safety threat to nearby homes, businesses and vehicles. Any such bonfires being built will be spotted by police or council staff and will be swiftly dismantled.

Residents are also advised to bring their wheelie bins in as soon as they have been emptied and to remove rubbish from backyards to prevent wheelie bin fires.

Anyone with concerns about crime or disorder is asked to contact their neighbourhood policing team on 101.

For a list of local displays and full safety information, please visit