TOUGH action has been pledged against firework-wielding thugs in the run-up to Bonfire Night.

And members of the public are being asked to play their part in stamping out problems, by providing information about offenders.

Reports of any potentially-dangerous bonfires are also being sought.

Bradford Council is working with the emergency services and district social housing group Incommunities in a bid to boost safety as November 5 approaches.

Already some incidents have occurred in the district, with fireworks being thrown at cars and 999 crews.

“The reckless and dangerous use of fireworks will not be tolerated in this district and investigations are ongoing with partners to identify those who have been involved in their misuse,” said Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, of Bradford District Police.

“Some of the behaviour we have seen is abhorrent and falls far below any acceptable standard.

“Fireworks are potentially-lethal weapons when used inappropriately and anyone who uses them to cause fear or injury to others will be arrested and prosecuted where possible.

“Action will also be taken against those who deliberately set illegal fires and commit other acts of arson, using what should be a fun and enjoyable time of the year to commit criminal offences.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton, of West Yorkshire fire and rescue service, said it was “only a matter of time” before someone was seriously injured.

He added: “We join with our partners in denouncing the reckless and dangerous use of fireworks, particularly in those instances where they are used to attack emergency-service staff, others who work in the community and the people of Bradford district.”

Bradford Council – which is supporting moves for tougher penalties for those who attack members of the police, fire and ambulance and other official services – says it is working in partnership with others in schools and communities to promote the safety message.

Neighbourhood wardens are keeping a look-out and reporting anti-social behaviour or potentially-dangerous bonfires, as well as advising shopkeepers on the law regarding sales of fireworks, matches and lighters to under-age youngsters.

Businesses, householders and schools are being advised to remove any accumulations of rubbish to avoid them being set alight.

And people are being warned not to take advantage of the season by illegally dumping waste on bonfires.

Councillor Abdul Jabar – executive member for neighbourhoods and community safety, as well as chairman of the Community Safety Partnership – said: “Bonfire Night should be a celebration of our nation’s cultural history and a festive family get-together, not an excuse for thugs to terrorise law-abiding citizens by throwing fireworks at cars or to ambush members of the emergency services.

“We would urge people to go to properly organised bonfire and firework displays and if anyone has any information about the identity of the hooligans who think it’s a good idea to throw fireworks at their fellow residents or attack the emergency service staff, they should pass it on to the police as soon as possible.”