A FIREFIGHTER was injured when crews were pelted with bricks and stones while during an emergency call out.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said crews had been physically and verbally attacked in a number of incidents between October 5 and October 9.
This culminated in a firefighter suffering an arm injury after being struck by a stone.
The incident took place as crews attended rubbish fires in the Elemore Lane, Brickgarth area of Sunderland, just off Easington Lane.
A fire appliance was also damaged in the stone attack.
Now fire officers and police are issuing a warning that anyone who is caught attacking firefighters will be prosecuted under the Emergency Services Act.
District Manager for Sunderland, Ian Cuskin, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Thankfully the firefighter was not seriously injured nor the fire appliance seriously damaged.
“However it could have been a different story.
“We will not tolerate any form of verbal or physical attack against our staff. It is totally unacceptable when our firefighters are performing their duty to keep the public safe. I’m sure many local residents will be appalled to hear what our crews have been facing over the last few days.
“We will do everything we can to protect our staff and have CCTVs on every fire appliance which provides clear footage at incidents. We will not hesitate to use this evidence to prosecute anyone who behaves in this way.”
The Police have been notified about the attacks and may be requested to accompany fire crews to attend future incidents in the area. If anyone has any information about the attacks they should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.