Rise in attacks on firefighters across Tyne and Wear

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There was an increase in the number of attacks on Tyne and Wear firefighters in the run up to Bonfire Night, brigade chiefs have revealed.

While the overall number of incidents from 1-6 November was 10% lower than last year, there was a "disappointing" rise in attacks on staff.

The Tyne and Wear brigade said it saw a reduction in incidents from 799 in 2009 to 717 this year.

But the number of attacks went up from seven to 11 in over the same period.

'Small minority'

Assistant chief fire officer Tom Capeling said the brigade received 561 calls on Bonfire Night itself - a 12% drop on 5 November 2009.

But he added: "However, I am disappointed in the rise of attacks on our staff during this period.

"Nobody should be attacked or abused when they're carrying out their work and it's absolutely unacceptable that firefighters face situations like this while trying to save lives and protect the public.

"Fortunately, it is just a small minority. However, all of our appliances and vehicles are now fitted with digital CCTV allowing us to record footage of any attacks on firefighters, which we will use to prosecute offenders."

Recent figures showed that between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010 there were 68 attacks on firefighters across Tyne and Wear.

From 1 April 2010 to date there have been 50 attacks.

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