Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police and partners are urging residents to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night safely this autumn.
The period around Halloween and Bonfire Night is cause for celebration with many community events being held throughout the Staffordshire region.
However, this is traditionally a time of year where there is an increased demand for emergency services. This period of time can also be seen by some as an opportunity for anti-social behaviour which is unacceptable.
Chief Inspector Rob Hessell, said: “Officers will be highly visible during this period across the area engaging with people and providing visible reassurance to local communities.
“Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be working alongside our partners throughout this period to ensure that people can feel safe out in public and in their homes and that Halloween and Bonfire Night are enjoyable and peaceful occasions for all.
“Halloween is not an excuse for nuisance and anti-social behaviour. It will not be tolerated and if you are intending to cause trouble for the decent majority then you will be targeted.”
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is also highlighting the dangers of fireworks and are recommending families to go to an organised display.
Mark Walchester, Head of Prevent and Protect at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Bonfire Night and the days surrounding it can be busy for our firefighters. We would advise people to attend a professionally organised display because we know they are much safer with few significant injuries occurring and first aid on hand.
“If you do choose to celebrate with fireworks at home please plan very carefully, take care and remember to follow the firework code. Playing with fireworks is dangerous so keep them in a locked and secure container so children can’t get to them.
“We don’t recommend having a bonfire in your garden. They can easily get out of hand and spread quickly to hedges, overhanging tress and garages, even to the house. If you decide to have one follow the advice on our website.”
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care, added: “It is fantastic for people to be able to once again enjoy Halloween and Bonfire night. The key thing is we celebrate safely.
“Covid-19 cases are still high in Staffordshire, particularly in younger people, so it is probably sensible to keep to smaller groups if you can, meet up outdoors and have a Covid-19 lateral flow test if you are planning to attend any indoor events.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown added: “I know many families will be looking forward to Halloween and Bonfire Night and it is wonderful to see so many seasonal decorations in windows and gardens across the city. We’ve all missed out on enjoying these occasions during the pandemic, so it is great to be able to do so now.
“We can all have fun at this time of year without causing anti-social behaviour and without putting ourselves or others at risk by not understanding the dangers that fireworks can pose. We work closely with the police and fire service to support communities, and will continue to do so over this period. I encourage everyone to enjoy themselves safely.”