Attacks on Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service double

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have been subjected to double the attacks when out on duty.

3

Prompting them to launch a campaign aimed at reducing incidents involving anti-social behaviour.

A shocking increase of verbal and physical attacks on fire crews when attending incidents has been recorded.

Between January and December 2015 there were 25 reported attacks on firefighters. This figure doubled to 50 during the same period in 2016.

As the nights grow lighter the fire and rescue service sees an increase in the number of fires which are set deliberately in April and May, making it one of the busiest times of the year along with bonfire night.

Group Manager Tony Markwell, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“It is totally unacceptable that firefighters are being subjected to physical and verbal abuse while working to protect our local communities.

“We take these attacks on our firefighters very seriously and work closely with Northumbria Police and the local authorities to resolve these issues, including reviewing CCTV footage from the cameras which are fitted on all our fire appliances.”

“I would urge parents to make sure they know what their children are doing if they go out during the lighter nights and to support this campaign by making them aware of the dangers of setting fires deliberately or attacking firefighters.

“What may seem like a bit of harmless fun can easily lead to something much worse – causing serious damage to property and people’s lives. How would they feel if it was their property being damaged or even worse their own life or a family member or friend’s life was under threat? Fire is unpredictable and dangerous, not only can it kill and injure, but deliberately setting a fire can leave you with a criminal record and scar you for life.”