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Merseyside Police is asking everyone to play their part to ensure that the Bonfire Night period passes off peacefully and that people don’t use the nights as an excuse to cause anti-social behaviour.

The week between 30 October and 5 November is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for Merseyside’s emergency services and this year we have worked to raise awareness in our communities about ways of reporting incidents.

On the 30th and 31st of October the Force took a total of 2657 calls an increase of 2.9% when compared to the same period last year.

Police will not tolerate any behaviour that causes problems in our communities and will deal with those responsible robustly. Patrols have been stepped up across the county and officers have also been visiting schools to explain to pupils that not everyone enjoys this time of year and it can raise the fear of crime.

There have been a small number of serious incidents these past few days that we wish to highlight to the public. These incidents show the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of a minority of young people who have used these nights as an excuse to cause anti-social behaviour.

On Wednesday at about 6pm, a 52-year-old blind woman walking with her guide dog was getting off a bus on Pendennis Street in Kensington when she was verbally abused by a group of youths, who also threw fireworks in her direction. The woman was uninjured but has been left extremely distressed by the incident. The matter is being investigated as a hate crime.

In a separate incident in Anfield an officer was struck in the neck with a firework whilst on patrol on Linton Street at about 6.50pm. Fortunately his protective clothing saved him from sustaining a serious injury.

On the same night at about 8.20pm two minibuses that were being used by the Force to take local children to events were damaged as they were parked on Domingo Drive in Kirkby. The vehicles were removed from the scene by officers and are in the process of being forensically examined.

On both the 30th and 31st of October officers attended a number of locations across the county to reports of damage caused to bus windows. Officers are working with the bus companies to identify the people responsible.

Fortunately no one was seriously injured as a result of these incidents but drivers and passengers were left distressed.

Operation Commander, Rowley Moore said: “While the vast majority of young people behaved themselves there was a small minority of people whose actions went beyond innocent mischief.  These incidents are highly irresponsible and it is only through sheer luck that on each occasion no-one was seriously injured.

“I’d like to remind people that this type of behaviour is not harmless and while the offenders may think that is a “laugh”, I can assure the public, Merseyside Police takes it very seriously and will arrest anyone we can identify as being responsible for these reckless and dangerous acts.

“This type of reckless behaviour has the potential to lead to tragic consequences and we will not tolerate it. I am reappealing to parents of children to please make sure your children are not participating in such a dangerous activity. Young people are also reminded to take personal responsibility for their actions

“I also warn both parents and their children who engage in this activity that prosecution for this very serious offence will always be our objective.

“Officers are examining CCTV from each individual incident, from the areas in which the incidents occurred and from the buses themselves, and I would ask anyone who has any information to get in contact via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. I’m sure the public of Merseyside would agree that this type of behaviour cannot be tolerated and those responsible need to be brought to justice.”

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