Football and volleyball are just some of the activities taking place in Seaton Carew over the Easter holidays. The Brigade has teamed up with Cleveland Police, Hartlepool Council’s Countryside Team and Groundwork (an outreach team) to provide activities which aim to reduce fires and anti-social behaviour.Last Easter saw an increase in grass fires on the sand dunes, where appliances spent a total of nine hours tackling these fires compared with 15 hours over the whole year. The fires caused significant damage to the dunes which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Cleveland Fire Brigade will set up a mobile urban games arena (MUGA) behind the bus terminal on the seafront at Seaton Carew on Wednesday 20April and Friday 27 April between 12pm-4pm and Thursday 21 April and 28 April between 5pm-7.30pm where young people aged 12-19 are invited to join in football and volleyball sessions.
Also on Wednesday 20 April the Countryside Team and Groundwork will be running a variety of games and activities for younger people on the beach. On Wednesday 27April the activities will be held at Seaton Park where the Countryside Team and Groundwork will be joined by staff from the Council’s Sports and Recreation Team and the Friends of Seaton Park who are consulting on improvements to the park.
Cleveland Police will be increasing their patrols in the area assisted by the Countryside Team.
Peter Bradley, Community Liaison and Arson Reduction Co-ordinator who has organised the event said:
“Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland Police and staff from the Countryside team have already been talking to pupils at three local schools in the area to speak to them about anti-social behaviour and the impact it could have on the community, the environment and wildlife as well as the repercussions of appliances attending unnecessary fires.
“We are hoping that by visiting the schools and giving young people something to do over the Easter holidays, this will help reduce the number of fires and any disruption to the community.”
Acting Sergeant Tom Hart said: “We hope the introduction of youth diversionary activities will reduce the level of anti-social behaviour and underage drinking that we have experienced over the recent years. We will be working with our partners across the duration of the Easter holidays to provide a firm but approachable presence at the sea front in Seaton to reinforce levels of acceptable behaviour.”
Deborah Jefferson, Countryside Officer with Hartlepool Borough Council said: “Seaton Dunes is an area of considerable importance for its flora, invertebrate, and bird life and is enjoyed by local people throughout the year. The incidences of anti social behaviour and arson happening on the dunes impacts negatively not only on its wildlife value but also on people’s enjoyment of the area.”
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