The run-up to bonfire night and the weekend itself saw a record low for call-outs to nuisance fires across Merseyside following a campaign run by the fire service.
There was a drop of 14.4% in the number of call-outs for fires from anti-social behaviour, classed as deliberate secondary fires, between October 19 and up to and including yesterday, November 6.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has been working closely with partner agencies to reduce the risk of nuisance fires. This has included teams being out throughout the period clearing hazardous rubbish in communities, which could have been used as fuel for fires.
This year there were 570 deliberate secondary fires from October 19 to midnight this morning, down from 666 for the same period last year.
The figure for the busiest time of the year for the Service is also the lowest for the period in at least the last six years.
Group Manager Guy Keen, MF&RS Protection Department, said: “Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is delighted with the success so far with our campaign to reduce deliberate secondary fires during the run-up to the bonfire period. Our teams have been working hard as part of our bonfire campaign and to clear streets of items and rubbish that could have been used for fires.
“As we have done successfully in previous years, we took a joint approach alongside police, the five district councils and the community to ensure that people in Merseyside have had a safe and enjoyable bonfire period.
“We have worked extremely hard this year to get the successes we have. And we are seeing the benefits in these figures. The near 15% reduction on last year is great news.
“Unfortunately there is still a very small minority who have caused problems for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service firefighters during the period. We will continue to take a robust approach to enforcement where there are threats to our firefighters and communities.”
The bonfire night safety campaign included tackling the sale of illegal bangers and illegal fireworks to children, clearing potentially combustible rubbish and organising diversionary activities.
Tippers were also out removing potentially hazardous rubbish from communities, as part of a community skip campaign.
On November 5 there were 90 fires from anti-social behaviour across the Merseyside area, down from 117 last year, and 104 yesterday, down from 113 last year. On November 4 there were 16, down from 22 last year.
Four out of five districts saw a drop in call-outs for deliberate secondary fires compared to the previous year with Wirral seeing a drop from 144 to 93. Sefton saw a small rise from 64 to 76, following a record low after it dropped by 37.3% from 110 in 2009.
In 2005, the earliest year current figures can be compared with, there were 1,032 deliberate secondary fires, between October 19 and today and the highest number in recent years was in 2006 when there were 1,616.