COMMUNITY leaders have issued a plea ahead of the Bonfire Night season as police warn the public that criminal and anti-social behaviour won't be tolerated.

Organised bonfires and fireworks displays aren't taking place this year due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

And people are being urged by Bradford Council and the emergency services not to have their own bonfire events in gardens or let off fireworks.

That message is backed by senior figures in Keighley, where anti-social behaviour during the Bonfire Night period has been a problem in the past.

Incidents in the town have seen firefighters pelted with fireworks and other missiles.

Keighley Central councillor Khadim Hussain helped with efforts to quell previous problems.

"We don't want to see any issues this year and I will be working with others to get the message across," he said.

"Everyone needs to be responsible and careful and not put lives at risk.

"People must follow the advice and current guidelines and not place extra strain on our emergency services."

Keighley MP Robbie Moore says the misuse of fireworks is an issue that has been raised with him.

"Ending that problem – and the risks associated with it – is of vital importance," he added.

“Many vulnerable people will have been stuck behind closed doors for a long time now and fireworks could really add to the feeling of anxiety this has caused.

“My message is very much a plea not to mess around with fireworks. And to parents, please know where your kids are this Bonfire Night. You wouldn’t want your own relatives to be impacted by dangerous use of fireworks!"

Bradford Council, with the emergency services and partners in the housing sector, is asking people to find alternatives to traditional Bonfire Night celebrations.

It fears that 'unofficial' bonfire and fireworks events could add the risk of accidents to worries about spreading coronavirus.

Councillor Abdul Jabar, executive member for neighbourhoods and community safety, says: “We know this will be a huge disappointment for many people but we have to continue to make safety our main priority.

“There is no way at all to hold bonfire and fireworks events without putting people at risk of catching the Covid-19 virus.

“If young people become infected at bonfire events they run the risk of passing on the virus to more-vulnerable people in their home who may also be elderly and suffering from underlying health conditions.

“It just doesn’t make sense to gamble with people’s lives for the sake of a few fireworks."

Superintendent Mark Jessop, of Bradford District Police, is urging the public to continue to follow Government guidance and local lockdown restrictions.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have continued to engage with the public regarding restrictions as they have evolved and this will remain our approach," he said.

"Our officers will continue to focus on engaging, explaining and encouraging with enforcement where necessary.

“Any anti-social and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and we need our communities to help us by providing information about anyone involved in this potentially-dangerous behaviour.

“Above all, we want everyone to enjoy the celebrations and stay safe.”