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Be a Good Guy this bonfire night

Article date - 20 October 2016

An award winning campaign - that helps trigger cuts in anti-social behaviour during the run up to bonfire night - is back with a bang!
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Now in its ninth year, Be the Good Guy Campaign is once again asking residents to report any build-ups of combustible waste in public spaces to help keep St.Helens safe from anti-social behaviour, firework nuisance and the lighting of dangerous fires.

Community Safety Partner agencies, including St.Helens Council, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS), Merseyside Police, Helena Partnerships, Riverside Housing and others, will be working together to remove the source of unsafe nuisance fires from public land.

All fires can be dangerous and unpredictable. Even a small build-up of waste once lit can easily spread, especially if lit closely to nearby buildings, trees, fences and other flammable obstructions. They also often fuel anti-social behaviour and fireworks misuse.

St.Helens Council's Trading Standards is also encouraging Good Guy retailers to come forward and limit their selling period of fireworks, to help cut down on noise pollution and fireworks misuse.

Retailers to have signed up to date include:

Councillor Lisa Preston (pictured below, centre), St Helens Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: "No one is trying to be a kill joy. Although the majority of residents enjoy the bonfire festivities safely, there are a small minority who act anti-socially - throwing fireworks, causing nuisance and lighting dangerous fires in public spaces.

“We want residents to enjoy bonfire night safely, and are encouraging everyone to attend organised firework displays."

Watch Manager Steve Pratley, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Arson Reduction Co-ordinator, said: "Our key message this year is stay safe and have fun.

“We want to drive down deliberate, anti-social, nuisance fires during the bonfire period but we need help from people in the community to do this.

"Firefighters and our Prevention Team in St.Helens are engaging with young people and youth groups in the area, delivering bonfire safety messages.

“The firefighters and fire prevention advocates are also liaising with local shops and businesses to highlight the importance of refuse control and storage of wheelie bins. Wheelie bins should be stored away from windows and doors and should only be put out on the day of collection and removed as soon as possible after collection to a secure location."

Neil Fairhurst, Helena Partnerships Senior Neighbourhood Manager, said: "Through our continued involvement in the Be the Good Guy campaign we work closely with a range of valued partners to make sure our neighbourhoods, and in particularly vulnerable people living in our communities, stay safe each year."

The council's free organised firework display takes place on Saturday 5 November at Sherdley Park and promises to be a truly spectacular night.

To find out about other fun activities available for young people over the autumn period, visit the YAZ website.

To report any build-up of combustible waste and fly-tipping on public land, call the council’s contact centre on 01744 676789.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue is also offering a phone number to report fly tipping, which is through Fire Service Direct on 0800 731 5958.

Anti-social behaviour can be reported by calling Merseyside Police on 101.

Find out more about the Be a Good Guy campaign on the Safer St Helens website.