Warning after children as young as ten attacked firefighters in Sunderland

Teenage troublemakers have been warned they could be putting lives at risk.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 11:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 10:16 am

The warning comes following two consecutive years of ‘shameful attacks’ which saw yobs hurl bottles, fireworks and rocks at firefighters.

Last year, louts as young as 10 attacked crews as they dealt with car fires in Southwick.

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Aftermath from bonfire night on Cato Street, Southwick, last year

But as they worked to put out the blaze, missiles and fireworks were thrown by a group of youths at the crews. The yobs – who were aged between 10 and 19 – then attempted to barricade the fire engine into the street.

Now police officers will increase patrols in Sunderland and across Northumbria over the next fortnight as the Force prepares for a spike in reports of anti-social behaviour in the lead up to Halloween and Bonfire Night.

While the ‘overwhelming majority’ celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night in a safe and respectful manner, officers will be out in force to ensure anyone who does bring misery to residents is dealt with robustly.

In recent weeks, police have been working closely with blue light partners and local authorities to ensure plans are in place and officers have attended schools to speak you young people about the dangers.

Aftermath from bonfire night on Cato Street, Southwick

Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton, force lead for anti-social behaviour, said: “The overwhelming majority of young people are a credit to themselves and their local area. However, a minority of individuals can sometimes be drawn into anti-social behaviour and I’d like to reiterate that this type of behaviour simply won’t be tolerated.

“Plain-clothed and uniformed officers will be on patrol across the force over the coming weeks to deal with any incidents and offenders will face action. We will also be visiting local businesses to warn them about the consequences of selling alcohol to young people.”

Only those aged 18 or over can buy fireworks, and if used incorrectly, they can have potentially devastating effects.