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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 00:08 GMT
Fire crews forge links with youth
Firefighter with hose
One of the scheme's aims is to prevent young people starting fires
Scotland's eight fire and rescue services are joining forces in a bid to develop links with young people.

Fire chiefs want to crack down on anti-social behaviour which involves setting fires, attacking crews or damaging hydrants.

They hope to do this by creating stronger ties with communities and youth organisations.

Children's Commissioner Kathleen Marshall said such schemes were critical for making communities safer.

Officers promoting the Youth Development Plan will use school visits and organised activities such as the fire cadets scheme to encourage children and young adults to become more responsible citizens.

Fire and rescue services are determined to tackle anti-social behaviour
Brian Sweeney
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue

However, fire chiefs are keen to stress attacks on fire crews, malicious calls and damaged hydrants make up only a minority of the encounters they have with young people.

Attending Monday's launch will be Deputy Justice Minister Johann Lamont, Kathleen Marshall and Assistant Inspector of Fire Services for Scotland Brendan McCaffrey, as well as fire cadets and other young people who have been involved in fire service schemes.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue's chief officer Brian Sweeney said: "This plan confirms the determination of fire and rescue services to work with communities, youth organisations and other partners to ensure the health, safety and welfare of young people.

"Fire and rescue services are also determined to tackle anti-social behaviour, especially where it involves fire setting, attacks on fire crews, fire hydrant damage and misuse, malicious fire calls and unsafe driving."

Fire chiefs plan to improve ties with youth organisations

Campaign dampens Aberdeen fires
13 Nov 06 |  North East/N Isles
Project to encourage fire safety
23 Aug 06 |  Tayside and Central
Warning over drink-related fires
02 Aug 06 |  Scotland

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