Bradford's firefighters suffer most violent incidents as crews targeted 76 times

A third of attacks on the region's firefighters happened in Bradford in the last year

Fire Brigades Union secretary David Williams

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

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.”

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:39pm Mon 11 Aug 14

flashdonut says...

Would love this story to actually breakdown what area of Bradford the attacks occur. I aint privy to the details, but I am happy to stake my next wage these attacks in Girlington, Manningham or Bradford Moor.
Would love this story to actually breakdown what area of Bradford the attacks occur. I aint privy to the details, but I am happy to stake my next wage these attacks in Girlington, Manningham or Bradford Moor. flashdonut
  • Score: 23

1:22pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Albion. says...

We often get remarks on this topic to "turn the hoses on them," while that might defeat the object if you're trying to fight a fire, I'm sure that there are occasions when that or a quick thumping by a couple of burly firefighters my well be seen as justified by the majority of the public. Maybe magistrates could be given guidance to look on such events with an air of leniency?
We often get remarks on this topic to "turn the hoses on them," while that might defeat the object if you're trying to fight a fire, I'm sure that there are occasions when that or a quick thumping by a couple of burly firefighters my well be seen as justified by the majority of the public. Maybe magistrates could be given guidance to look on such events with an air of leniency? Albion.
  • Score: 32

2:24pm Mon 11 Aug 14

eccythump says...

flashdonut wrote:
Would love this story to actually breakdown what area of Bradford the attacks occur. I aint privy to the details, but I am happy to stake my next wage these attacks in Girlington, Manningham or Bradford Moor.
.....and Barkerend. I distinctly remember reading an article about youths in Barkerend, setting fire to wheelie bins, then attacking Fire services that turned up.
[quote][p][bold]flashdonut[/bold] wrote: Would love this story to actually breakdown what area of Bradford the attacks occur. I aint privy to the details, but I am happy to stake my next wage these attacks in Girlington, Manningham or Bradford Moor.[/p][/quote].....and Barkerend. I distinctly remember reading an article about youths in Barkerend, setting fire to wheelie bins, then attacking Fire services that turned up. eccythump
  • Score: 13

2:26pm Mon 11 Aug 14

alive and awake says...

This all began 25 years ago, and should have been stamped out then, instead it was tolerated. It should result in a min 2 years custodial sentence. Zero tolerance.
This all began 25 years ago, and should have been stamped out then, instead it was tolerated. It should result in a min 2 years custodial sentence. Zero tolerance. alive and awake
  • Score: 28

4:52pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Baildon girl says...

Tougher consequences needed to make examples of these wasters, and that goes for their parents too!! Doesnt matter what ethnicity or part of Bradford you are respect and right and wrong should be learnt at home
Tougher consequences needed to make examples of these wasters, and that goes for their parents too!! Doesnt matter what ethnicity or part of Bradford you are respect and right and wrong should be learnt at home Baildon girl
  • Score: 16

5:05pm Mon 11 Aug 14

llos25 says...

When you act like vermin you should be treated like vermin.
When you act like vermin you should be treated like vermin. llos25
  • Score: 17

8:36pm Mon 11 Aug 14

ohgreat3 says...

Around bonfire night I have to lock my letterbox as the only white man on my street; having had a lit roman candle through my letterbox one year ( I own my home) and a lit banger another. I called the police about it and was not surprised to find the only other white person living nearby had also received a firework through his letter box. Some kids used to set fire to a grassy area nearby regularly and a crowd large crowd gathered...it was all just a bit of entertainment....I suppose its also entertaining to harrass white minorities too.
Around bonfire night I have to lock my letterbox as the only white man on my street; having had a lit roman candle through my letterbox one year ( I own my home) and a lit banger another. I called the police about it and was not surprised to find the only other white person living nearby had also received a firework through his letter box. Some kids used to set fire to a grassy area nearby regularly and a crowd large crowd gathered...it was all just a bit of entertainment....I suppose its also entertaining to harrass white minorities too. ohgreat3
  • Score: 4

6:25am Tue 12 Aug 14

cityofdreams says...

dont put that as ur comments will be amazingly removed without anyone's knowledge ....what happened to freedom of speech t and a ??? why remove the previous comments ?
dont put that as ur comments will be amazingly removed without anyone's knowledge ....what happened to freedom of speech t and a ??? why remove the previous comments ? cityofdreams
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree