43 Attacks On Bradford Firefighters In Past Year

More than half of all attacks on fire crews in West Yorkshire took place in the city.

Shocking statistics about the scale of attacks on firefighters in Bradford have been revealed.

Over a 12-month period Bradford crews were pelted with bottles, threatened with a knife and had fireworks aimed at them.

In total there were 43 attacks on firefighters in Bradford between April 2018 and March 2019. These make up 57 per cent of attacks on firefighters across all of West Yorkshire.

The figures have been released by West Yorkshire Fire Authority – which holds its annual general meeting next week, where members will be given details of some of the abuse its staff have to put up with.

But despite a string of violent incidents, attacks on firefighters were actually down compared to the previous year – when 92 attacks were recorded in West Yorkshire.

One incident on March 29 saw firefighters threatened with a knife when they attended a car fire on Wrigley Avenue in Bierley.

On February 19 a group of youths threw glass bottles at a crew as then responded to reports of a fire on Greyswood Crescent in Holme Wood.

On February 12 a group of 10 hooded youths surrounded a crew attending an incident on Sycamore Close, Undercliffe and lobbed stones at them.

Youths also threw stones at a crew attending an incident in Garthland Way, Cutler Heights, on March 17.

In one incident staff at a local company threatened crews that were responding to reports of a fire on site.

On February 29 a crew were called to a fire in Little Horton. It turned out to be staff at a business carrying out a controlled burning. When the crew tried to get into the site to up out the fire, the employees “became abusive towards crews and would not let them into the site”.

The manager of the business eventually had to intervene, and apologised to the crew.

On Bonfire Night alone in Bradford district fire fighters were attacked on six occasions – five of which involved fireworks being thrown at crews.

At an incident in Keighley in October a man exposed himself at firefighters.

A report going to the fire authority says:

“The Chief Fire Officer re-emphasises that even one attack is one too many and that every assistance and encouragement will be given to the police to bring offenders to court. Work is continuing with a variety of agencies from the police and district councils to community groups and youth leaders to address these issues.”

Other efforts to reduce attacks include making the public more aware of ‘Silent Witness’ cameras installed on fire engines to catch yobs in the act.

In the past 12 months there were four incidents involving Calderdale crews, nine involving Kirklees crews, 18 involving Leeds crews and one involving Wakefield firefighters.

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