Fire service targets anti-social behaviour in Kidderminster

Kidderminster Shuttle: ON YOUR BIKE: Watch Commander Ade Taylor, left with community safety advisor Caroline Webster. Buy this photo ON YOUR BIKE: Watch Commander Ade Taylor, left with community safety advisor Caroline Webster.

HEREFORD and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) have been getting on their bikes to target anti-social behaviour in the school holidays in Kidderminster.

A community cycle team went looking for potential fire risks, such as abandoned cars, empty premises and fly-tipping in a bid to discourage young people from arson.

A pilot test was held last Wednesday through Brinton Park, the Rifle Range, Birchen Coppice and surrounding areas in a bid to establish a more extensive scheme in Wyre Forest later in the year.

The pilot mirrored work already done in Redditch and was made possible by Safer Redditch and the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.

Bob Sproat, HWFRS station commander for Wyre Forest, said: “We know that similar community cycle schemes have been very successful in other fire service areas, helping to educate young people about the dangers of starting fires deliberately, and highlighting the consequences of their behaviour to those involved as well as the negative impact it has within the local community.

"We will be running this as a pilot scheme in Kidderminster, carefully targeting resources towards areas of the town that have experienced pockets of anti-social behaviour, grass fires etc in the past, and monitoring the impact that this has on call-outs to these type of incidents.”

Justin Bryant, chairman of Safer Wyre Forest, said “Safer Wyre Forest are always looking for new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our local community so we are really pleased to support this scheme.

"We will work with our fire colleagues to understand the impact of this project and identify how we can best support it in the future."

The Community Cycle Team wore their specially-designed cycle kit and rode distinctive bright red bikes to ensure they were easily recognisable in the community.

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