Merseyside Police thanks overwhelming majority of the public for abiding by restrictions as we approach Bonfire Night
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We would like to thank the vast majority of our communities for abiding by Covid-19 restrictions this evening as we head into national lockdown.
While officers were called to a small number of incidents involving restriction breaches, the overwhelming majority of people and businesses across Merseyside abided by the rules ensuring the safety of themselves and others.
Emergency services were however called to a number of bonfires, including one in Wirral, and we are encouraging people to continue to follow the restrictions and avoid bonfires on public land ahead of Bonfire Night tomorrow.
Chief Inspector Gary O’Rourke said: “We are overall incredibly pleased with the behaviour of our communities across Merseyside this evening and it is encouraging to see that people are pulling together and following the government guidance as we head into another national lockdown.
“Despite this, a small number of incidents where restrictions were breached did occur, including a bonfire on public land in Wirral. At 8.50pm, it was reported that large crowds of people had gathered at a bonfire on Meadow Crescent, Woodchurch. Officers from Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service attended and upon their arrival, a number of youths threw fireworks towards them, which thankfully resulted in no injuries.
“A number of vehicles were also at the scene, one of which was seized by officers after it was found to contain a large number of fireworks and have no insurance. The driver made off and enquiries are ongoing to locate them.
“I want to make it clear that the events in Woodchurch were simply unacceptable and an extensive investigation is now underway to identify those involved in anti-social behaviour at the scene, as well as those involved in organising the bonfire.
“Not only did police and fire patrols come under attack on their arrival, which could’ve had catastrophic results, but there was a blatant disregard for Covid-19 restrictions, with hundreds of people in attendance drinking alcohol, mixing with other households and ignoring social distancing. We will not tolerate this behaviour and are now looking at a number of lines of enquiry, including examining footage and speaking to witnesses, to ensure robust enforcement action is taken.
“We know how frustrating it is not being able to enjoy these celebrations with family and friends, but it is crucial that we continue to pull together and abide by the restrictions so we can stop the spread of the virus and protect eachother. As we approach Bonfire Night tomorrow, we are reminding people to follow the firework code, ensure you know where your children are and what they’re doing, and to not hold community bonfires on public land.
“The Halloween and Bonfire Night period is a busy time for emergency services every year, but even more so this year with increased calls due to Covid-19. We want you to enjoy Bonfire Night tomorrow, but please do so safely, responsibly, and in accordance with Covid-19 legislation. We will again have increased patrols out and about across Merseyside and incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminality will be dealt with swiftly.”
If you have information on criminality, anti-social behaviour or events and gatherings, you can contact @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you have information on the bonfire in Woodchurch, please quote ref. 20000670819.