BonfireWatch, a multi-agency initiative to help people have fun, stay safe, avoid injury by bonfires and stop antisocial behaviour has been set up in the lead up to Bonfire Night each year since 2008.
The BonfireWatch campaign is coordinated by the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership Safer Places Joint Action Group. The group comprises of Police Scotland; the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service; Portland Janitorial; and Officers from South Ayrshire Council’s Community Safety, Trading Standards and Environmental Health, and Waste Management teams. By removing illegal bonfires, the aim is to help to decrease the chances of people being injured, property being damaged, and reducing the likelihood of people getting involved in antisocial behaviour.
This year, the partnership is tackling the issues of fireworks and illegal bonfires by encouraging the pubic to attend public displays, in a bid to deter private displays in gardens and local areas. Our Trading Standards and Environmental Health officers are also visiting local premises to discuss fireworks sales and legislation to help reduce illegal purchases.
Local residents who see any waste being gathered for a bonfire are encouraged to contact South Ayrshire Council’s Community Safety Team on 0300 123 0900, to allow for its removal.
Councillor Martin Kilbride, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Buildings, Housing and Environment said: “I am pleased to see the BonfireWatch initiative continuing to play a vital role in ensuring that everyone can enjoy celebrations safely. This time of year is a fantastic opportunity for communities to come together and enjoy spectacular professional displays, but it is also a challenging time for our emergency services.
The efforts of those involved in this campaign are key in helping to reduce the number of illegal bonfires being constructed. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of people being injured or engaging in antisocial behaviour and frees up resources to ensure people are safe over this period.”