THE Fire Brigades Union has demanded a “zero tolerance approach” to tackle thugs attacking firefighters, after another crew in Bradford had missiles thrown at them.

Firefighters and a fire engine were pelted with stones by a group of about 15 teenagers while they put out a rubbish fire in Blackshaw Urban Park, Buttershaw on Monday night.

Dave Williams, chairman of the Yorkshire branch of the FBU, said that this latest attack, less than three months after a similar attack also took place in Buttershaw, had “crossed the line”.

He said: “It takes a lot for the union to make statements of this kind, but we have exhausted all other options.

“A zero tolerance approach is needed against these attacks.

“Bradford has an appalling record on attacks, mainly from youths, so there is clearly something failing. Buttershaw also seems to be a problem area.

“We don’t know if this is one group or different groups trying to one-up each other, but they seem to be acting almost with impunity.

“It’s worrying when you are faced with a group of angry youths and no recourse to deal with it. We have tried everything we can with community engagement, maybe now we need police mobilisation with every appliance.”

Mr Williams added the fire service has been working in schools for the past 15 years to get the message across to children about issues, including attacking firefighters in the line of duty.

In May this year, firefighters had metal bars thrown at them by a group of thugs in Buttershaw. Since March 2016 more than 40 attacks on firefighters have taken place in Bradford.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue area manager Nick Smith said: “It is appalling that they have been targeted in this way whilst simply trying to carry out a job.

“If a fire engine is damaged it could potentially lead to it being taken off the road which means it would not be available should there be an emergency elsewhere, so this kind of reckless behaviour not only poses a threat to our crews but also the wider public.”

The incident was reported to police

Inspector Daniel Ware, of the Bradford South Area Neighbourhood Team, said: “My officers are working closely with the fire service to obtain details of the incident and the suspects."

“Attacks on emergency services staff are a serious matter and we will take action against those involved in this unacceptable behaviour.”

Anyone who witnessed this incident or who may have any information which will assist the police investigation can contact the Bradford South Area Neighbourhood Team on 101, quoting log 1856 of July 24.

Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.