CONCERNS that the “silly season” which surrounds Halloween and Bonfire Night, where gangs of youths attack firefighters by throwing missiles, has started early, after crews were attacked in Bradford on Tuesday night.

The firefighters from Fairweather Green fire station were attending a call to a fire in the open at Spencer Road playing fields in Lidget Green at around 9pm on Tuesday when they came under fire.

Youths threw ceramic floor tiles at the crew and the fire engine, before setting more fires in a game of cat and mouse, as the firefighters followed them extinguishing the fires while the youths started more fires, tying up the fire service dealing with anti-social behaviour.

A spokesperson from Fairweather Green said “silly season has started”, and said he did not understand the logic of the youths attacking them.

He said: “We are just baffled every time it happens.

“I cannot work out why people would want to throw missiles at the emergency services.

“We have warned crews attending fires in that area to be vigilant.”

Bradford is a hotspot for attacks on firefighters, particularly around the Bonfire Night period - which is still more than a month away.

Around this time last year, on October 5, 2017, firefighters were attacked in Green Lane, Lidget Green, after youths deliberately started a fire before ambushing the fire crew and throwing bricks and stones at them.

During the financial year 2017/18 there were 42 attacks on firefighters in Bradford, and between April and July this year there were ten attacks, mostly carried out by youths, using missiles such as stones, bricks, golf balls, fireworks and now, most recently, ceramic floor tiles.

To try and put an end to the attacks last year, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service created the More Than a Uniform campaign, designed to make gangs of youths realise that, behind the firefighting uniform, there are human beings with families.

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, was in a fire service vehicle which was attacked by youths last Bonfire Night.

She said: “Attacking emergency service workers is a truly sickening act.

“Firefighters risk their lives to protect our community. These actions make their jobs harder and put our emergency services at risk of serious injury.

“Anyone setting fires for fun needs to think long and hard about what could happen if there was a serious fire elsewhere in the city at the same time.”

Martyn Bairstow, from the Fire Brigades Union, added: “This is normally the period where there are incidents but it is quite early, it’s usually the bonfire period.

“It goes without saying we condemn attacks on firefighters, and the new Protect the Protectors bill coming through Parliament is welcomed, we will do everything we can to cut attacks.”