Bonfire Night attacks on firefighters ‘impact other emergencies’

SFRS said it would take a 'zero-tolerance approach' to deliberate fire setting and anti-social behaviour.

Bonfire Night attacks on firefighters ‘impact other emergencies’ Charles McQuillan via Getty Images
Bonfire Night: Firefighting crews attacked 12 times last year.

Firefighters have issued a fresh appeal about the dangers caused by attacks on crews in the lead up to Bonfire Night.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said there were 12 attacks on crews on Bonfire Night 2020, and warned that such incidents can divert police away from other emergencies.

Last week, the fire service highlighted the dangers of fireworks – and its #BangOutOfOrder campaign is now calling on public support for its staff.

Deputy assistant chief officer Alasdair Perry said: “On any night of the year an attack on crews responding to incidents is unacceptable, but to have 12 on our busiest night of the year puts everyone in danger.

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“We know it’s a very small minority of people who engage in anti-social behaviour, but there’s no question it can also impact on our firefighters, operations control colleagues and our partners too.

“If an appliance is damaged it may not be available for other emergencies.

“Our emergency service partners are diverted from other emergencies to escort us to deal with incidents, if crews need treatment and to investigate the attacks.

“It’s time to bring an end to this type of anti-social behaviour and make sure firefighters – and our emergency service partners – can do their job and keep the communities they serve safe.”

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Firefighters attended more than 1350 deliberate fires during the four-week period up to November 5, 2020 – its busiest period of the year.

SFRS said it would take a “zero-tolerance approach” to deliberate fire setting and anti-social behaviour.

Home owners were urged to store waste in garages or sheds to reduce the risk of accidental fires.