Bonfire campaign sees call numbers fall in Sunderland

The number of fire calls over the Bonfire period saw the biggest fall in 12 years.
The number of fire calls over the Bonfire period saw the biggest fall in 12 years.
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Police and fire service bosses have hailed a campaign to reduce Bonfire Night disorder in Sunderland as a success, after the number of fire calls saw its biggest fall in more than a decade.

The Darker Nights campaign - which was launched last month - saw police working closely with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Sunderland City Council.

This year's Bonfire night saw the biggest decrease in calls to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service on November 5 for 12 years.

The number of reports to police around fireworks and bonfires, in particular youths throwing fireworks, was also down compared to last year.

And reports of anti-social behaviour fell by almost half - down to from 50 to 27.

However, 80 wheelie bins were stolen across the city between November 4 and 10.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service District Manager for Sunderland Ian Cuskin said: “It is great to see that this partnership working is having a positive impact in reducing the number of incidents we attend over the bonfire period and in helping the public to stay safe

“We’re delighted that most people had an enjoyable Bonfire Night and I’d thank everyone involved including parents, children and the public for their support throughout the bonfire period.”

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police's Southern Area Command, said:"We're really pleased with the success of the darker nights campaign this year, we've worked very closely with our colleagues at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and both Sunderland and South Tyneside council's to make sure everyone could enjoy a fun and safe bonfire night.

"This partnership approach has worked really effectively and I'd like to thank everyone involved - including our communities who worked with us, supported our efforts and followed our advice.

"I'd also like to thank our volunteers, the special constables and police cadets, and volunteers from the fire service, who gave up their own time to work with us. We're incredibly grateful and proud of their involvement in helping us keep our communities safer.

"We hope to build on this success even further next year."

Sunderland City Council deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman is chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership: “It’s always encouraging to see what can be achieved working together on targeted campaigns such as these to reduce anti-social behaviour, but we all need to keep that momentum going," he said.

“We all need to stay involved in identifying problems when and where they occur, and then deciding how best to do something about them. Bonfire night provided us with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the shared resources, expertise and commitment we have available to help reduce crime and increase community safety.”