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Emergency workers attacked with fireworks and bricks on Bonfire Night

Emergency services were attacked with fireworks and bricks as they responded to calls on Tuesday.

(Rui Vieira and Danny Lawson/PA)
(Rui Vieira and Danny Lawson/PA)

By Edd Dracott, PA

Firefighters and police were attacked on Tuesday night as Bonfire Night disturbances took place across the UK.

Footage from Harehills in Leeds showed fireworks being launched at riot officers while in nearby Dewsbury, police vehicles had their windows smashed after bricks and concrete were thrown at them.

West Yorkshire Police were responding to reports of anti-social behaviour in Harehills at around 8.20pm when they were attacked by groups of youths, who also set fire to rubbish bins, lit flares and targeted passing motorists.

Four officers were hurt during the attacks, with two requiring hospital treatment but none seriously injured.

The police force said 15 local males, aged between 11 and 23, were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said three different groups of young people launched fireworks at their crews as they responded to emergency calls.

It said that on one of the calls, its crews were set upon by a group of around 40 youngsters in Hyde.

GMFRS posted on Twitter: “Firefighters work hard to keep people safe and attacks like these are NOT acceptable!”

In Scotland, fire crews reported being attacked six times as they responded to around 359 bonfires between 3.30pm and 11.30pm, but added no firefighters were seriously injured.

Assistant chief officer John Dickie, of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Any number of attacks on emergency service responders is completely unacceptable.

“This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues including the police when they have to escort us at the scene.”

West Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Damien Miller said: “We made it clear from the outset that any instances of disorder or antisocial behaviour would not be tolerated and we were able to quickly respond.

“Those individuals that engage in such behaviour are within the minority and do not represent the wider community.”

Commenting on the incident in Harehills, Leeds district commander Steve Cotter said: “This appears to have been about a hooligan element of local youths seeing an opportunity on Bonfire Night to engage in firework-related disorder on a large-scale.

“They are very naive if they think their actions won’t now have consequences and we will be sending a very clear message to them over the coming days and weeks as our investigation progresses.

“Police officers were deliberately targeted and injured during these incidents and that is not something we can ever accept.”

PA

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