Safety teams target hot spots as Sunderland gears up for Bonfire Night

Coun Michael Mordey joins Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt and fire service's Nicole Mordecai to launch the Bonfire Bin safety campaign.
Coun Michael Mordey joins Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt and fire service's Nicole Mordecai to launch the Bonfire Bin safety campaign.
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Families across Sunderland are being urged to stay safe by being smart when celebrating November 5.

Police officers, firefighters, councillors and council workers have teamed up to raise awareness in the city before Bonfire Night tomorrow.

In the run up, leaflets have been handed out across potential “hot spots” and awareness activities have taken place in local schools.

Now, all of the organisations are calling on the public to do their bit too.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police, said: “We all appreciate that it’s November 5 and people want to have a good time, but be safe, and be aware that the smallest things could have the most significant impact.”

Coun Michael Mordey, cabinet member for city services at Sunderland City Council, is reminding residents to keep their wheelie bins indoors wherever possible, in order to avoid anti-social behaviour fires.

People should only contact the police and fire services in a genuine emergency, the councillor added.

Coun Mordey said: “The public can do a lot to prevent these kinds of fires by being safe and smart.”

The council has also been clearing piles of wood and debris after reports from the public.

Chief Insp Pitt said there was a 40% reduction in the number of callouts in the Sunderland area for anti-social behaviour last year, particularly in the run up to Bonfire Night.

She added: “We have only got a number of resources and we can only be in so many places. We can’t do it all on our own.”

Stephen Burdis, Farringdon Fire Station manager, said that more than 30 assemblies have been held at 11 schools in “hot spot” areas, which include Easington Lane, Silksworth and Pallion.

He is also reminding the public to attend an organised display instead of being tempted buy their own fireworks.

Mr Burdis added: “We have zero tolerance for attacks on our firefighters or other emergency services, and that we are recording CCTV in all of our engines from the moment we set off.”