Reports of 'repeated violent attacks' on firefighters in Cleveland

Cleveland Fire Brigade says groups of children and youths are deliberately setting fires and attacking vehicles and firefighters. Credit: PA Images

Cleveland Fire Brigade is reporting repeated violent attacks on firefighters in the Northern Road, Whinney Banks area of Middlesbrough.

The service says groups of children and youths are deliberately setting fires and attacking vehicles and firefighters.

Carl Boasman, Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director of Community Protection said: “It is completely unacceptable for our staff to be subject to violence and acts of vandalism whilst protecting the public.

“Our job is being made more difficult by the thoughtless actions of a minority who in this instance deliberately set fires and attempt to injure staff and cause damage to fire engines, potentially making that vehicle unavailable to respond to emergency incidents and diverting resources away from attending other incidents.

“Such violence puts firefighters at risk of injury or even worse and Cleveland Fire Brigade will not tolerate such attacks. Our vehicles are fitted with CCTV cameras and staff are equipped with body cams and we will use any evidence we have to support the police to secure a prosecution of anyone who has been violent towards our staff.”

Middlesbrough Council’s Neighbourhood Safety team has identified two young people from the CCTV footage building fires in Northern Road. One has been issued with a final warning, and an application will be made for a civil injunction if they are involved in further nuisance. The second is in breach of an Acceptable Behaviour Contract and will be visited this week by the council and Cleveland Police.

It comes as Cleveland Police has issued warnings to parents after groups of youths gathered with large scale fights breaking out on Beverley Road, Saltersgill Avenue and other areas in Middlesbrough last night (19 March). They say fines could be issued for breaches of Covid regulations.