Chichester agencies join forces for safer Halloween and bonfire celebrations

A joint agency drive to tackle fireworks misuse and anti-social behaviour during the Halloween and Bonfire period is being launched in Chichester.

Operation Fender will see Chichester's Community Safety Partnership - which includes Community Wardens, Chichester District Council, West Sussex Fire & Rescue, Sussex Police, Registered Social Landlords and West Sussex County Council - working together to reduce incidences of anti-social behaviour and promote firework safety.

Efforts will be focusing on educating young people to behave responsibly and keep themselves and others safe. Partners will be working with schools and local community groups in the district to provide advice and guidance on standards of behaviour, talk to people about the risks to themselves and others from 'trick or treat' activity and highlight the dangers of misusing fireworks. They will be handing out posters to residents who may feel vulnerable which will carry the message 'Please do not 'trick or treat' here'. Shops selling fireworks will be visited by Trading Standards Officers to ensure they comply with their responsibilities and will also be asked to not to sell various items to under 16's during the period, including eggs and tomatoes.

Chief Inspector Rachel Bacon of Sussex Police, explains:

"Of course, we don't want to stop youngsters enjoying themselves, but they should bear in mind how vulnerable members of the community feel about having callers knocking on their door late at night."

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Deputy District Commander for Chichester, Stuart Beddoe, added:

"Halloween and Bonfire Night is a great opportunity to celebrate with your local community, but we want to make sure that everyone is both kept safe and feel safe. Where possible we would encourage people to attend organised displays and urge anyone who is using fireworks or having a bonfire to consider the potential risks."

Bonfire Night Code

  • Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin
  • Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket
  • Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp NEVER use a naked flame
  • Light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter
  • Stand well back and NEVER return to a firework after it has been lit, it could explode in your face
  • Ensure that all children with fireworks are well supervised
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Keep all pets and animals indoors
  • Take care of sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of the sparkler in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished

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