Police attacked by ‘yobs’ with fireworks after ‘hoax calls’

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Police in Manchester and Lancashire reported damaged vehicles and injured officers after being targeted by people throwing fireworks.

Lancashire Police said that members of the fire service, ambulance and police in Blackburn and Burnley received “a number of hoax calls” before being attacked by “yobs”.

“While many people were enjoying last night’s Bonfire Night celebrations responsibly, we are sad to report that a small number of people behaved in a totally unacceptable way,” a Lancashire Police statement read.

“A number of police vehicles were damaged and are now out of action. Fortunately no-one was injured.

“No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible.”

A Facebook group with more than 1,500 followers called Blackburn Muslim Community shared an appeal from Blackburn and Darwen Police along with a video which appeared to show people aiming fireworks at vehicles in a residential area.

The video then appeared to show a number of riot police arriving at the scene.

“Tonight the ambulance service were called to a report of a person unconscious and not breathing in the Audley area,” the Blackburn and Darwen Police appeal read.

“Upon their arrival they were attacked by youths with fireworks and had to retreat leaving a person potentially dying without treatment.”

Greater Manchester Police meanwhile reported that three officers had sustained “minor injuries” after fireworks and missiles were thrown in the Moston Lane area.

“Just before 9.30pm, police were called to a report that a female officer had been assaulted on Moston Lane,” a statement read.

“Shortly after officers arrived, large groups of people started throwing fireworks and other missiles at the officers, resulting in more patrols swiftly being sent to the scene.”

Superintendent Helen Critchley, of GMP’s City of Manchester district, said: “As a result of this incident three officers have sustained injuries, thankfully these are minor injuries due to the quick response of their colleagues.

Million Mask March 2021
Fireworks are let off as people take part in the Million Mask March 2021 in Parliament Square, London (Yui Mok/PA)

“GMP will not tolerate violence towards officers in the course of their duties”.

One male has been arrested on suspicion of affray with another male arrested on suspicion of two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and affray.

West Yorkshire Police said they attended a number of serious incidents on Bonfire Night, with one police officer injured and a fire crew attacked with a firework.

“A male police officer received minor injuries at an incident in the Pollard Place area of Undercliffe, Bradford, in which a police van was damaged and items including fireworks were thrown at vehicles and police officers,” said a WYP statement.

“A fire crew was also attacked with a firework by a group of youths after attending at a bonfire on Aireville Road in Shipley. No injuries were reported and no damage caused.”

In London, 12 arrests were made after hundreds of anti-establishment protesters clashed with police in Parliament Square.

Protesters threw fireworks at police during the clashes – with eight officers needing treatment for injuries, the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

The Met said the injuries were “unacceptable”, adding the arrests were made “for a variety of offences”.

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