Hard Hitting Campaign Is Launched

A hard hitting campaign which aims to keep young people safe during the Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations has today been launched.

The high profile initiative has a very clear message – take care and be aware.

A range of leading organisations from across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent have joined forces to spearhead the campaign including:

* Staffordshire County Council

* Cannock Chase Council

* Staffordshire Police

* Staffordshire Fire and Rescue

* East Staffordshire Borough Council

* South Staffordshire District Council

* Stoke City Council to run the initiative

The aim of the scheme is to help youngsters stay safe and keep out of trouble while the festivities are taking place.

“Halloween and Bonfire Night can be lots of fun but they can also be quite frightening for vulnerable and older people.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves during the celebrations – that’s why a range of leading organisations have joined forces to launch this high profile campaign. The message is strong and simple – take care and be aware.”

“While this time of year is about recognising and celebrating history, it is important to remember that fireworks, although fun to watch, can cause serious injury and damage if not used safely.

“This can have a devastating effect on people’s lives and futures. Operation Good Guy is a timely reminder to children and young people to think about the dangers of fireworks in the hope they can develop a healthy respect for fireworks and be safe at all times.”

“We’re working closely with partners to continue to reduce crime and anti social behaviour across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.

“We want families to enjoy themselves safely and responsibly this Halloween and Bonfire Night, and would urge parents to keep a close eye on their children.”

The first part of the project ““ Be aware of who you scare ““ will see eye catching posters pinned up in youth centres, community buildings, schools and shops.

Leaflets will be available, radio adverts will be aired and an ad van will be driving the message home to children across the area.

Vulnerable people are also being given “ËœNo Trick or Treat’ cards to display in their windows.

The second part of the campaign ““ Operation Good Guy ““ is being led by Staffordshire’s Trading Standards team and Staffordshire Fire Rescue Service.

Trading Standards officers will be visiting licensed shops to offer advice and guidance about the sale of fireworks to children under 18 as well as working to tackle the illegal use of fireworks.

Firefighters will be delivering a presentation to pupils to highlight how dangerous fireworks can be when in the wrong hands.

A special Firework Hotline has been set up to answer any legal questions that residents have about Bonfire Night and, for the first time ever, they can also call the number if they have a query about anti social behaviour.

The number to call is 08454 020304. Alternatively, for more information visit Staffordshire County Council’s website at

http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/beaware

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