A partnership project designed to educate tenants about bonfire safety and encourage them to attend organised displays has been heralded a major success, with a big reduction in fire setting incidents reported on Bron Afon Housing land, the lowest number reported for 40 years.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service working in partnership with Bron Afon Housing Organisation implemented highly successive multi-agency initiative as part of Operation Bang over the Bonfire period and Halloween period. They used a range of interventions such as consequences talks in schools, community engagement and community engagement activity plus community patrols with partners including Gwent Police and Torfaen Local Authority. Community Safety Practitioner, Clare Amor said:
“Our teams have worked hard in collaboration to ensure we do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents at Bron Afon. By working closely with our partners we are proud that people were able to have fun and enjoy their night without risk of injury or fear of being disturbed by bonfires and anti-social behaviour. This is a testament to the success of the collaboration and hard work from all involved.”
This resulted in a significant reduction in bonfire related anti-social behaviour incidents over this traditionally busy period. It also ensured greater focus from local fire stations to engage with communities, continuing to keep people safe and ensuring a swift response, when needed, to emergency situations elsewhere.
Steve Caddy, Community Environmental Team Leader, Bron Afon, said;
“We are really pleased that residents listened to our advice and attended an organised display. In previous years, in the weeks up to Bonfire Night, we have had to remove lots of dangerous items from Bonfires and also clear all the debris left behind. The lack of reported incidents this year is a great example of what can be achieved when working in partnership and helped the evening go with the right sort of bang!”
Cwmbran Station Commander, Andy Good added:
“Working with local housing providers like Bron Afon Housing was one of our key priorities in the run-up to bonfire night and supports our ongoing commitment to keep people safe by reducing the risk of fire. Crews from Cwmbran Fire Station worked very hard alongside colleagues from our Fire Crime Unit and Business Fire Safety Department in order to achieve this fantastic result. As Station Commander at Cwmbran Fire Station, I would like to reassure the local community that we will continue to work very hard throughout the year to ensure that Cwmbran continues to be a safe, peaceful and enjoyable place to live and work.”
Operation Bang took place across South Wales and is a multi-agency approach to tackle Anti Social Behaviour and deliberate fire setting over the Halloween and Bonfire period.
For more information on fire safety and the work we do in our communities please visit www.southwales-fire.gov.uk