Clampdown On Violent Attacks

Fireground training with fire, firefighters and fire engine.

Cleveland Fire Brigade have warned that violent attacks on crews will not be tolerated.

In many cases attacks appear to be planned with youths hiding from view and waiting for the engines to arrive.

To date there has been 10 incidents between April and July this year. These ranged from firefighters being threatened with a shovel and crews spat at, to attempting to take water carriers away from firefighters and throwing bricks and stones and damaging an engine. 

Damaged engines are then taken off the road for repair, putting a further strain on resources.

There have also been instances of crews being verbally abused when carrying our Safer Homes Visits to check residents are up to date with fire precaution measures in their own homes.

Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton said: “It is completely unacceptable for our staff to be subject to violence and acts of vandalism whilst protecting the public.

Our job is being made more difficult by the thoughtless actions of a minority intent on setting fires and then trying to injure staff and damage engines. This can potentially mean a vehicle is off the road and unavailable to respond to other incidents. These attacks also divert crews from real emergencies where lives may be at risk.

Such violence puts firefighters at risk of serious injury. Cleveland Fire Brigade will not tolerate such attacks. Our vehicles are fitted with CCTV cameras and staff are equipped with body cams and we will use any evidence we have to support the police to secure a prosecution of anyone who has been violent towards our staff.”

We would like to appeal directly to our local communities to help us identify those responsible for such dangerous and anti-social behaviour.

The public are encouraged to report issues confidentially to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or