FIREFIGHTERS had to withdraw from attending a fire in Bradford last night after they came under attack from a gang of youths.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Andrew Farrell spoke of his anger following the latest attack which occurred in Horton Park at around 7.30pm.

He said a crew from Bradford was called out to a bin fire near the swings in the park. They went to extinguish the fire but had to withdraw because a group of youths were throwing missiles, including plastic pipes at them."

Mr Farrell said the crew withdrew for safety reasons in case the incident became more volatile and requested for police to attend.

"Attacks on our firefighters are completely unacceptable. It puts our crews and members of the public in danger," he said.

Mr Farrell added: "It was only a bin fire as it turned out, but it could have been something much more serious and there have been instances where rubbish fires have spread to houses.

"We have liaised with West Yorkshire Police and it has been logged as an incident.

"We have a campaign called More than A Uniform where we try and get the message across that it is unacceptable to attack firefighters.

"There is also a Bill going through Parliament at the moment which we hope will bring about stiffer sentences for those responsible for such attacks and help protect firefighters."

The fire service's More Than A Uniform campaign was launched on October 25 last year after a spike in violent incidents towards crews.

On Bonfire Night last year there were 11 separate incidents of violence towards firefighters reported in the district.

One of the incidents included a firework launched at a fire service car carrying Bradford South MP Judith Cummins.

Following last night's attack, Mrs Cummins said: "Our fire fighters do an important job in keeping us safe and protecting the public. Any attack on them is an attack on our public safety. After my own experience last bonfire night, when the fire crew I was with was attacked, I know how these attacks can hinder our emergency services from doing their job of protecting the public.

"I was proud to back tougher sentences for those who attack our emergency workers in the Protect the Protectors Bill. This much needed legislation will help safeguard our firefighters."

 At the time of the November 5 incident, deputy chief fire officer Dave Walton said the service was hoping for a change in legislation to protect its firefighters.

He said: “It is only through good fortune that we have not had a firefighter injured by this incredibly foolish behaviour.

“We hope that by raising public awareness of these attacks we will see a public stance against attacks on firefighters and a change in legislation which will help safeguard our crews in the future."

After last night's attack in Horton Park, assistant chief fire officer with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Ian Bitcon tweeted: "Firefighters attacked again last night. Simply unacceptable on every level #MoreThanAUniform."

The remaining stages of the  Assaluts on Emergency Worker (Offences) Bill will take place on Friday, April 27.