Emergency services offer support ahead of expected spike in anti-social behaviour this Easter

  • Richie Rickaby, Area Manager for Community Safety at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Emergency services say they are committed to protecting communities in the North East from anti-social behaviour during the Easter school holidays.

Northumbria Police says call handlers and officers see reports start to increase at this time of year, in line with the school holidays, warmer weather and lighter nights.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service reflect that, stating it also sees a spike in deliberate fires which in turn could prevent it from saving lives.

It is hoped that with partnerships across services and local authorities, projects and education can prevent this sort of behaviour from happening at all.

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner's Violence Reduction Unit intervenes and educates while the YOLO project offers mentoring support and uses sport as a diversionary activity.

Youth workers have been placed out and about on public transport to engage with young people around unacceptable behaviour and help improve safety for everyone.

Credit: Northumbria Police

Praising the ongoing partnership work, Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton, of Northumbria Police, said: "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.

"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."

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 diversionary 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."

The public is asked to continue to work with services by sharing concerns, suspicious behaviour and reporting crime whenever seen or heard about it.