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Last Updated:  Thursday, 10 April, 2003, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Fire engines get CCTV cameras
Fire engine
Firefighters say they will prosecute those caught on camera
Security cameras are being fitted to fire appliances on Teesside following a spate of attacks on crews.

Three fire engines are being equipped with CCTV cameras as part of a six-month trial ordered by the Cleveland Fire Authority.

Fire chiefs say crews are suffering an increasing number of violent attacks - some from children.

The latest move is being made ahead of the East school holidays, when attacks from youths traditionally show a rise.

Appliances at stations in Middlesbrough, Grangetown and Coulby Newham are having the equipment fitted.

Assistant divisional fire officer Dave Horton from Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: "What we are seeing is an increase in violence to staff.

"This involves bricks, stones and other objects thrown at appliances and putting our staff at risk.

'Ensure prosecution'

"It is incredible, considering we are there to provide life-saving fire cover and a rescue facility for the community.

"If, during the trial, we get footage of individuals who can be identified, we will pass that to the police and ensure a prosecution.

"In the past we have had to have a police escort into some areas."

Mr Horton said the brigade was not prepared to allow the lives of firefighters to be put at risk.

Estate demolished

He added: "Appliances will be marked to show that they are equipped with cameras, so there is no element of entrapment."

Children as young as five have been blamed for attacks on firefighters in the past.

In June 2002, firefighters faced a hail of stones from youngsters as they tackled the fires in empty council houses in Teesside.

The estate was eventually demolished.




SEE ALSO:
MP wants mercy crews protected
09 Jul 02  |  England
Children 'stoned' firefighters
06 Jun 02  |  England


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