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A fun and safe Halloween and Bonfire night planned for Lambeth

Clapham fire station manager Lisa Hicks, Brixton fire station manager Bruce Grain and Cllr Jack Hopkins, Cabinet member for Public Protection (left to right) at McKay’s Hardware Store in New Park Road, Brixton Hill.

Bonfire night and Halloween are spectacular occasions enjoyed across the borough, but despite improvements the period can also see a rise in serious incidents and anti-social behaviour.

Lambeth council is working with the police, fire brigade, housing management firm Lambeth Living and volunteer Street Pastors to make sure everyone can enjoy themselves.

To tackle the spike in anti-social behaviour that traditionally occurs at this time of year the Safer Lambeth Partnership is working hard to tackle any issues.

Cllr Jack Hopkins, Cabinet member for Public Protection, said: “This is a really fun time of year, and we hope everyone enjoys themselves.

“We are working with businesses, keeping youth clubs open longer, liaising with neighbourhood watches and have two public firework displays in Brockwell Park and Streatham Common on Friday, November 2.

“If fireworks are being used unsafely or you suspect shops are selling to under-18s we need you to call the police or council trading standards on 020 7926 6102.”

Fire crews in Lambeth are visiting licenced shops to check that fireworks are being stored safely and the borough police’s anti-social behaviour team are carrying out extra patrols.

Youth club opening hours are being extended on October 31, November 2 and November 5 and Lambeth Trading Standards are carrying out test purchases for fireworks, knives, tobacco and alcohol to make sure businesses are meeting their safety obligations.

The work to cut anti-social behaviour, reduce firework related accidents, cut underage firework sales and prevent arson is being carried out during a four-week partnership operation which started on Monday, October 15 and runs until Friday, November 9.

Previous efforts have proved successful with fires in Lambeth over the period having dropped by 41 per cent over the last five years, according to new London Fire Brigade figures.

Ian Black, the Brigade’s Borough Commander for Lambeth, said: “We’ve seen a dramatic drop in fires over Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali in Lambeth.

“But many of the Bonfire night fires we see can be easily prevented so we want people to use some common sense in a bid to reduce the numbers.”

“No Trick or Treat” posters have been given to residents to display in their window should they not wish to be disturbed by trick or treaters on Halloween. The poster is also available from Lambeth council’s website.

Superintendent Andy Howe, Lambeth police Head of Operations, said: “We want people to enjoy themselves, but we ask that they spare a thought on how their actions might impact on others.

“Obviously displaying this poster is no guarantee that you will not be visited on Halloween, but it does make it clear to parents and other responsible ‘trick or treaters’ where callers will be welcome.”

This year’s push will also feature an effort to promote candle safety during the Asian festival of lights, Diwali, which falls on November 13 this year.

The action is part of Lambeth council’s Safer Communities campaign to highlight what we’re doing to make the borough a safer place.

The campaign will also show how we are giving people in the borough more control over the council’s work with the police to reduce crime and the fear of crime.

There will be free Lambeth council fireworks displays on Friday, November 2 in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill and Streatham Common at 8pm.

To report anti-social behaviour phone Lambeth council on 020 7926 4000 and illegal firework sales phone 020 7926 6102.

NOTES:

For more display details visit:
www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/Environment/ParksGreenSpaces/EventsInParks/Fireworks.htm

The Brigade’s top three Bonfire Night tips are:
•           Attend organised displays – they’re much safer than holding your own
•           Never leave bonfires unattended and make sure they’re fully out before leaving them
•           Light bonfires well away from sheds, fences, bushes and trees

Legally you can’t buy or use fireworks if you are under-18, and it is against the law for anyone to set off or throw fireworks, including sparklers, in the street or other public spaces.

Anyone doing so can be fined up to £5,000 or imprisoned for up to three months. Letting off fireworks in the street can result in serious injury and the council is strongly encouraging people to leave it to the professionals and attend organised displays.

To download “No Trick or Treat” posters visit:
www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CommunityLiving/CrimePrevention/NoTrickOrTreatingPoster.htm

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