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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Partners launch 'Pumpkin Patrol' in Cannock

23/10/2014

Fireworks be safe not sorry
Fireworks - be safe

Cannock Chase Council’s ‘THINK – be aware who you scare’ campaign is back this Halloween and Bonfire night.

"While Halloween and Bonfire Night can be great fun for many people, some older and vulnerable members of the community can find it quite distressing. I would urge people to bear this in mind if they are out and about trick or treating."

Carmel Warren - Prevention Manager for the west of the county

The campaign aims to raise awareness of how members of the community can become distressed by unexpected trick or treaters and the nuisance and dangers of fires and fireworks on Bonfire night.

Pumpkin Patrol was launched last year and saw a 7.2% reduction in reports of anti-social behaviour incidents across the District over the period. There were also no reports of deliberate activity within the Cannock Chase District reported to the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Cannock Chase Council are working in partnership with Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue - and they will be taking to the streets in a specially designed vehicle, handing out safety information and providing simple do’s and don’ts to residents during this period.  The vehicle will be travelling through the District from 27th October to 7th November and will be visiting hotspot areas.

Councillor Mike Holder, Portfolio Leader for Crime and Partnerships said "The campaign last year was a great success, so I am delighted that it is back again this year.  It raises awareness that not everyone wants to get involved in the festivities, but also highlights to those people who want to get involved that they should do so safely and responsibly.  Look out for the Pumpkin Patrol vehicle in your area."

Carmel Warren, Prevention Manager for the west of the county, said: "While Halloween and Bonfire Night can be great fun for many people, some older and vulnerable members of the community can find it quite distressing. I would urge people to bear this in mind if they are out and about trick or treating.

"I would also warn residents of the risks associated with holding your own Bonfire Night party. Bonfires can quickly become out of control, causing damage to property at the least, and at the worst, injury. To avoid falling foul of this situation, I would advise people to attend an organised celebration which will have the necessary safety precautions in place. Attending bonfires that have got out of hand can also have the consequence of taking firefighters away from other potentially life-threatening emergencies."

Chief Inspector, Stephen Morrey, Cannock Chase Local Policing Unit said: "I am pleased that following the success of the previous campaign we have managed to look at joining up for Pumpkin Patrol 2014. We want to support people having a good time at Halloween but we need to balance that against those people who take things too far, harassing and frightening members of our communities. This campaign is a great way to get that message across and tackle anti-social behaviour whilst doing so. I'm looking forward to seeing police and partners out there engaging members of our community."

Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, who is funding the campaign through his Locality Deal Fund, said: "We want people to enjoy themselves in safety without scaring others, causing a nuisance or risking their own safety - which is why I have funded this campaign. I have significantly increased the funding that Cannock Chase District and other local areas have to make their communities safer. Providing more money at a local level in this way will help deliver the best community safety solutions for people in Cannock and Rugeley."

For residents in the District who don’t want trick or treaters to knock on their doors, there are glow in the dark ‘No Trick or Treat’ cards available to display in their windows.  These cards will be available from Council Offices, police stations or community fire stations from 22nd October.

A special Firework Hotline is available to answer any legal questions residents have about bonfire nights, the number to call is 0845 40 20 334.  

This campaign is being funded by the Police Crime Commissioner’s Locality Deal Fund.

More information on key safety points can be found at http://www/cannockchasedc.gov.uk/takecare