Merseyside Police to take zero-tolerance approach over bonfire night trouble-makers (From Wirral Globe)
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Merseyside Police to take zero-tolerance approach over bonfire night trouble-makers
3:13pm Friday 1st November 2013 in News
POLICE are asking Wirral residents to play their part in ensuring bonfire night period passes off peacefully.
The week between October 30 and November 5 is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for Merseyside's emergency services.
On October 30 and October 31, Merseyside Police took a total of 2,657 calls - an increase of nearly 3% compared to the same period last year.
Police say they will not tolerate behaviour that causes problems in communities and will deal “robustly” with those responsible.
Patrols have been stepped up across the county and officers have also been visiting schools to explain to pupils that not everyone enjoys this time of year and it can raise the fear of crime.
There have been a small number of serious incidents these past few days that police say “shows the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of a minority of young people.”
On Wednesday at about 6pm, a 52-year-old blind woman walking with her guide dog was getting off a bus in Kensington in Liverpool when she was verbally abused by a group of youths who also threw fireworks in her direction.
The woman was uninjured but has been left extremely distressed by the incident. The matter is being investigated as a hate crime.
In a separate incident in Anfield, an officer was struck in the neck with a firework while on patrol at about 6.50pm. Fortunately, his protective clothing saved him from serious injury.
On the same night at about 8.20pm, two mini-buses being used by police to take children to events were damaged when they were parked in Kirkby.
Officers attended several locations across the county to reports of damage caused to bus windows, causing distress to passengers and drivers.
Operation Commander Rowley Moore said: "While the vast majority of young people behaved themselves, there was a small minority whose actions went beyond innocent mischief.
“These incidents are highly-irresponsible and it is only through sheer luck that on each occasion no-one was seriously injured.
"I’d like to remind people that this type of behaviour is not harmless and while the offenders may think that is a ‘laugh’, I can assure the public Merseyside Police takes it very seriously and will arrest anyone we can identify as being responsible for these reckless and dangerous acts.
"This type of reckless behaviour has the potential to lead to tragic consequences and we will not tolerate it.
“I am re-appealing to parents of children to please make sure your children are not participating in such a dangerous activity. Young people are also reminded to take personal responsibility for their actions.
"I also warn parents and their children who engage in this activity that prosecution for this very serious offence will always be our objective.”
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