Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 14:04 UK

Fire crew attack images released

Stone throwing children attack firefighters

Cleveland Fire Service has released images of a home-made bomb that was set as a trap for its firefighters.

The brigade has also issued CCTV footage of crews being set upon by stone-throwing youths to highlight the growing problem of attacks on officers.

Government figures show attacks on crews in the north-east of England have risen from 64 in the 2004/2005 period to 255 in 2006/2007.

The Fire Brigades Union said attacks are so common they often go unreported.

In October last year, firefighters in Stockton were called to what they believed was a burning wheelie bin, only to discover that a canister full of gas had been hidden inside.

Protection law

The canister exploded, but nobody was injured.

The CCTV images show crews been called to an incident in Middlesbrough last year being obstructed by a gang of hooded youths hurling stones.

Last month, firefighter Peter Woodhead suffered a fractured elbow when he was attacked while answering an emergency call on the Blue Hall Estate in Stockton.

New laws have been brought in to protect emergency service workers from being obstructed.

It allows courts to issue a maximum 5,000 penalty for those who hinder emergency service personnel.


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