Tuesday, 2 October 2007

BURNLEY: Fire crews call for police escorts

Fire crews call for police escorts

FIREFIGHTERS want a police escort before they will go into the Daneshouse area of Burnley.

Their move came after crews came under attack from a gang of up to 50 yobs for a second time in three nights.

On Friday and Sunday, firefighters were attacked while putting out blazes on land behind Daneshouse Community Centre.

A gang of up to 50 yobs shouted abuse and threw pieces of wood and stones.

One officer was injured after being struck on the arm by a piece of wood on Sunday.

Watch manager Neil Mark said: "The consequence of this behaviour is that we need to protect crews going to the Daneshouse area by sending an extra appliance. By deploying extra resources to a fire that only requires one appliance, the rest of the town has to rely on cover from Nelson and Padiham.

"In addition, we are calling police to all incidents in the Daneshouse area before we intervene, so there might be a delay in us tackling fires."

Station manager Dave Jackson said they were looking into the reasons they had come under attack.

He said: "At the moment we don't know why it is going on. It could be a group of boys looking for trouble.

"It is totally unacceptable that firefighters are being attacked like this."

Ward councillor Shah Monwar Hussain, said "strong action" needed to be taken against the yobs.

He said: "Young people engaging in anti-soocial behaviour around the community centre is a big problem.

"If the groups are committing criminal offences by starting fires and throwing things at firefighters, they need to be punished."

Sgt Martin Selway, of Burnley Police, confirmed police were escorting fire crews and said: "Attacks of this nature on emergency service workers are totally unacceptable."


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