North East fire service tackles thousands of deliberate fires in last year

Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
Fires across Tyne and Wear Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is urging young people not to put lives at risk this half term, after it was revealed crews have spent 64 days in the last year tackling deliberate fires.

The incidents usually involve small outdoor fires including discarded items, wheelie bins, and grassy areas that don't harm people and their property.

Firefighters are linking the fires are anti-social behaviour where they say teenagers have started the fires along with their friends.

Deliberate fires across Tyneside Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

TWFRS says crews spent, on average, 21 minutes extinguishing each of the deliberate fires. This equates to approximately 64.5 days of the past year being spent putting out deliberate secondary fires.

Number of incidents across Tyne & Wear between 5 November 2020 and 20 October 2021 in each area:

  • Gateshead: 786

  • Newcastle: 1,305

  • North Tyneside: 498

  • South Tyneside: 500

  • Sunderland: 1,332

The fire service explains it normally sees an increase in anti-social behaviour and the misuse of fireworks at this time of year. Superintendent of Northumbria Police, Janice Hutton says the force is aware of its impact on local communities.  

"We want everyone to enjoy the Halloween and Bonfire Night period and contribute positively to their communities. It is important, however, that people do so safely while taking responsibility for themselves and being considerate of others. As ever, we will be working closely with our partners to positively address any issues or pockets of disorder."