23 October 2007
October is here again and that not only means the nights are drawing in, but Guy Fawkes Night and Halloween are approaching as well.
Although this is meant to be a fun time, unfortunately there are those who use it as an opportunity to behave anti-socially.
The police have a range of powers at their disposal to ensure that this can be dealt with and so the majority of Southwark's residents can go about their lives without fear or intimidation of the behaviour of others.
Anti-social behaviour can range from fireworks being set off late at night with no regard to their noise, to criminal acts, which actually harm people or pets.
Every year hundreds of adults and children require hospital treatment from injuries brought about through firework misuse and it is very important that we make people aware of the law, to make sure they are working within it and hopefully reduce anti-social behaviour.
To make sure that Southwark remains safe during this time, the police, in partnership with the council, have worked out a strategy for dealing with the different types of problems expected around Guy Fawkes Night.
Joint Control Room: Both the local Safer Neighbourhood teams and council will be working from the same control room over the weekend period around fireworks night. This way the most appropriate response, whether wardens or police officers, can be delivered to the problem.
Mapped Hotspots: Using data obtained over previous years, the police aim to predict where similar problems are most likely to occur, with resources delivered accordingly.
Test Purchasers: Shopkeepers who sell fireworks without proper authority or to underage children are to be caught out using test-purchasing schemes.
Extra Police Officers: All Safer Neighbourhood teams in the Borough will be scheduled to work in the evenings over the Guy Fawkes weekend and in addition to this there will be extra police drafted in, ready to deal with any out of the ordinary incidents that could arise.
Chief Inspector Carron Schusler, head of Safer Neighbourhood Policing in Southwark, said: "Fireworks Night always comes with its unique set of policing problems.
“However we are prepared and are working closely with the Council and Fire Brigade to deal with these challenges as they arrive. This is meant to be an enjoyable night for everyone within the community and we fully intend to ensure that this is the case for the residents of Southwark.”
Cllr Jeff Hook, Southwark Council's executive member for community safety, said: "In the lead up to bonfire night, the council is working closely with the police and fire brigade to enable everyone to have an enjoyable, and most of all, safe evening. We want people to enjoy the celebrations, but the safety of our residents is our prime concern."
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