Our message to our communities ahead of a busy Easter period

From our town centres to coastlines, transport hubs and shopping centres – we’re here for you.

As a Service, we know just how much anti-social behaviour can impact those living in our communities.

And around this time of year, we typically see reports of deliberate fire setting start to increase, in line with the school holidays, warmer weather and lighter nights.

However, our crews and volunteers are committed to keeping our streets safe, working alongside a range of partners and other organisations, from the Police to local authorities, community groups and charities – to ensure concerns are acted on and those committing offences are dealt with appropriately.

Richie Rickaby, Area Manager for Community Safety at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As the weather improves we see more people spending time outside and often see a spike in deliberate fire setting around the Easter period.

“If we are called to a wheelie bin on fire in a park related to anti-social behaviour, we can’t be responding to another incident that could have a risk to life.

“We ultimately want communities to stay safe from harm, and over the Easter period you will see our firefighters out in the community giving fire safety advice and promoting a range of divisionary programmes your kids can get involved in.

“As always we would recommend that any rubbish or unwanted items that may be outside of residential properties to be disposed of in the appropriate manner.

“We appreciate the cooperation of residents and businesses so if you have any information about deliberate fire setting in your area then please report it anonymously to Firestoppers.”

Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton, of Northumbria Police, added: “Anti-social behaviour covers a wide range of issues and impacts people in different ways.

“We know that typically as the weather improves, we see more people out and about which coincides with us receiving more reports of such behaviour.

“We understand the effect such negative behaviour can have on our communities and we are committed to working with our partners to help prevent cases occurring and taking appropriate action when they do.

“We have some fantastic partnerships which allow us to run successful schemes such as Operation Coastwatch – an initiative helping keep our beaches and the transport networks which connect them free form trouble, to ongoing work in the city centres led by our officers and supported by the councils and local businesses.”
Chief Supt Hutton continued: “It is important to recognise the vast majority of people contribute positively to the area – and it is a small number who cause issues or lead to a certain section of society, such as young people, being given a bad name.
“We are all privileged to work and live in such a fantastic region – and together we can all help ensure the area continues to be a safe and enjoyable place for everyone.”
The public are asked to continue to work with TWFRS and the Police by sharing concerns, suspicious behaviour, reporting deliberate fire setting, and crime whenever they see or hear about it.
You can report information anonymously by contacting the independent charity FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558 or via their website.
If you are unsure about where to report anti-social behaviour, please take a look on Northumbria Police’s website and the Local Authority websites linked to where you live for further information.
To report concerns or suspicious activity, visit the ‘Tell us something’ page on Northumbria Police’s website.