Support for Darker Nights campaign across the North East

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Volunteer police cadets in Sunderland and South Tyneside are assisting with the Darker Nights campaign.

The initiative is aimed at making people feel safer as the evenings become darker, particularly in the run up to Bonfire Night.

Officers are working closely with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, and councils in both Sunderland and South Tyneside to ensure fireworks season is safe for all.

Today and tomorrow, cadets will be helping Boldon and Harton Neighbourhood Policing Team in identifying large piles of wood and debris that will need to be cleared away in the run up to bonfire night to help prevent it from being targeted.

They will be at Whitburn Ranges on bonfire night itself, carrying out patrols at the fireworks display, and on Saturday cadets will be at Oakleigh Gardens for the Cleadon Rotary Club display.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: "We really are proud of the support our cadets provide us. They all volunteer, giving up their own time, to do these activities and offer their support to policing. The young people on the scheme are an absolute credit.

"There's been plenty of work going on between police, the fire service and local authorities as part of our Darker Nights campaign to help make bonfire night a fun occasion for everyone.

"This has been made even more effective by the fantastic support we get from our volunteers, including the cadets and of course officers in the Special Constabulary - who also give up their own time to volunteer."

District Manager for South Tyneside Bill Forster, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said that bonfire season is "one of the busiest" for emergency services, and added: "We would encourage everyone to attend an organised display to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable bonfire night.”

Coun Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, thanked cadets, officers and volunteers for giving their time to the campaign while Coun Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety said: "We appreciate that many young people look forward to the traditional festivals at this time of year but we need to recognise that this can also be an unsettling for some older people and those who live alone.

"We are grateful to our partners and volunteers who work with us to encourage responsible and considerate behaviour for all members of our communities."

For more information on the Darker Nights campaign, click here.