Reports of Bonfire Night anti-social behaviour and criminal damage down by more than 50%

Merseyside Police has said that the total number of reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage received by police on Friday 5 November decreased by more than 50% compared to the same period last year.

Reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage decreased by 51.6% (215 in 2021; 444 in 2020).

A total of 905 incidents were reported during the policing operation between 2pm and 11pm, compared with 1,049 in 2020.

Chief Inspector Peter Clark, who led Friday’s policing operation, said, “I am pleased to say that the overwhelming majority of our communities enjoyed themselves safely this Bonfire Night. 

“While we did attend a number of isolated incidents along with our colleagues at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, we saw an overall reduction in reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage and I want to thank everyone in our communities who celebrated these events responsibly. 

“Each year this is a very busy period requiring significant planning and I would also like to thank all officers, staff and partner agencies for their hard work and their dedication to keeping our communities safe.

“Despite the cooperation of most, we did receive some reports of fireworks set off dangerously close to people, as well unauthorised bonfires posing a risk to the public.

“Throwing fireworks at people, property or vehicles is incredibly reckless and could quite easily result in serious injuries or worse. It is despicable to think that the emergency services, whose job it is to keep people safe, find themselves targeted in this way and enquiries are ongoing to ensure those involved are dealt with and anyone with information is asked to get in touch.”

Chief Insp Clark added, “Our officers will maintain a visible presence in our communities for the rest of the weekend, engaging with the public and keeping people safe. We expect Saturday to be busy too, and recommend people take some simple steps which will help everyone. Bring your wheelie bins in, as well as those of anyone elderly or vulnerable in your neighbourhood, which is a simple way to limit the opportunities people have to recklessly set them alight, which could have devastating consequences.

“I would urge those young people who may be considering behaving in an unacceptable way this weekend to stop and think about the possible impact and consequences of your actions. Not only can fireworks intimidate people and cause fear, handled irresponsibly they can pose a huge risk to the person using them and the people and property around them,

“Regardless of the time of year, it is never ok to throw things at people or their homes, commit criminal damage or abuse or intimidate people. There are so many more worthwhile things to do at this time, so have a look at events and activities where you live.

“I would also ask parents and guardians to play their part so that their children or those around them do not come to any harm – don’t let children hang around the streets and understand who they are with and what they are doing. Doing so could prevent a knock on the door from a police officer informing them that their child has been arrested or, worse still, has been involved in a serious accident.

“If you experience any anti-social behaviour in your area then please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can take action.”

To report any crime, always contact 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information

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