Youths throw bottles and cans at fire engine

Police attended an incident in Alnwick last night after youths threw bottles and cans at a fire engine.
Police attended an incident in Alnwick last night after youths threw bottles and cans at a fire engine.

Louts hurled bottles and cans at a fire engine as it left a bonfire in Alnwick last night.

The incident happened in Cedar Grove and was the only report of bonfire-related violence in the county yesterday and just the second since 2008, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) said.

Mark McCarty, assistant chief fire officer at NFRS, said: "The incident in Alnwick where our crews had items thrown at them is unacceptable. Our firefighters work hard to protect members of the public and to keep them safe and it’s very disappointing that people could treat them this way. Thankfully it was only a small minority of individuals and we hope there will be no repeat of this type of incident in the county."

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "We received a call from the fire service at 9.25pm with a report that youths had been throwing bottles and cans at a fire vehicle. Officers attended the scene and carried out a search of the area, but couldn't find those responsible. Inquiries are ongoing."

The number of bonfires put out by the service around the county yesterday was 10, slightly lower than the 13 from last year. There were also 10 false-alarm calls to supervised bonfires, again a slight decrease from last year when there were 11.

There was an increase in the number of calls fire control received throughout the evening, with 68 calls received compared to 47 the previous year. Out of these calls, four were deemed to be no action calls to bonfires (where it was decided a crew wasn’t needed), compared to none last year.

Mr McCarty said: "Last night's statistics show no real change in bonfire-related incidents from last year, but the figures are still relatively low and is something we should be proud of.

“Our teams do a lot of work in the run up to November 5 to get key fire safety messages out. We have education programmes in schools and communities to teach people about the dangers of fireworks and bonfires and we promote key safety messages through the council’s social media channels. We also liaise closely with event organisers to help them have the safest night possible.

“On bonfire night itself, our control room staff know where bonfires are planned and can therefore assess what actions might be required from the service when they receive a call.

“We would like to thank the public for their cooperation throughout the bonfire period. The number of bonfire and firework-related incidents are still low so it does appear that our fire-safety messages are reaching people and they are taking notice. We will continue to work to further reduce the number of incidents and improve public safety.”

NFRS once again worked closely with Northumbria Police and other fire and rescue services in the region in the build-up to and during bonfire night.