ALMOST a third of attacks on fire service staff across West Yorkshire happened in Bradford during the last year.

The only physical assault on staff happened in the Bradford district, according to statistics compiled for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority., with five incidents of missiles thrown, six fireworks thrown and three stonings.

There were also three incidents of verbal abuse and five of aggressive behaviour towards crews who operate from the city's six fire stations.

Across the county there were 76 incidents logged as attacks on firefighters and is a leap from the previous year when there were 40 incidents. However, it is almost identical to 2011/12, when there were 77 incidents.

Fire Brigades Union secretary David Williams said firefighters had worked hard to reach out to young people, particularly through the Young Firefighters scheme.

"That seemed to be having some success but now we have gone backwards. I don't know the reason behind it and particularly so in Bradford but it won't stop us working with youngsters.

"It is sad and I hope it is just a blip. We will find out this time next year," he said.

During last year, Bradford fire crews were turned out 8,701times meaning they faced attacks on 0.26 per cent of occasions.

The fire service is working with other public bodies to try to reduce the number of attacks on firefighters, which includes promoting a positive image of the service in the community and to work closely with police to try to secure convictions where incidents do happen.

The service uses 'silent witness' cameras, which are demonstrated at public events to discourage anti-social behaviour.

Some of the most recent incidents involving aggression in Bradford include verbal abuse and missile throwing from a group of youths who gathered when firefighters went to tackle a fire on open ground near the bowling green on Silverhill Road, Thornbury.

As a result, two fire crews were despatched to incidents in the area for the following two weeks.

Bricks and stones were thrown at a Fairweather Green crew who were called to a bonfire at the rear of Romsey Gardens in Holme Wood by a group of youths who also used verbal abuse.

Objects were also thrown at a crew from the Odsal station when they were helping police to catch an alleged criminal.

Firefighers at the Fairweather Green station also had to call police after a woman was able to wander into the station before doors closed automatically after a fire truck had been sent to an incident.

She was trapped inside and was found to be in a confused state, threatening firefighters with her dog. Police were called and they assisted.

West Yorkshire Fire Service Area Manager for Fire Safety Ian Bitcon said: “Whilst any attack on a firefighter is unacceptable, we do extensive prevention work with members of the community and engagement with youths to minimise this.”