Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
25 October 2017, 15:38
Disturbing footage has been released showing firefighters being attacked by gangs with stones, bricks and fireworks.
The shocking video features incidents from across West Yorkshire as part of a new campaign.
It shows scenes of hooded yobs launching missiles at fire crews while they attended real emergencies.
The “More Than A Uniform” campaign has been launched to make youths realise that behind the firefighting uniforms are human beings.
Last year, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service recorded 95 incidents of violence against its crews, more than double in the last three years.
In November 2016 there were 33 attacks, with 12 of those coinciding with Bonfire Night.
Dave Walton, deputy chief fire officer, said: “The rise in attacks on our crews is gravely concerning to us and as we approach the bonfire period, when we tend to see a flurry, we are delivering a clear message that it will not be tolerated.
“We believe our crews are sometimes targeted as they are seen as a ‘uniformed authority figure’ so our campaign aims to open people’s eyes to the fact that if you attack a firefighter, you may be attacking a mum or dad, a wife or husband, or brother or sister.
“Already this year we have seen a handful of attacks on crews using fireworks and it is only a matter of time before an operational firefighter is seriously injured.
“The lead up to the bonfire and Halloween period is not an excuse for recklessness.
“Parents, if you have your suspicions that your children may be involved in such behaviour then please step in now before they end up in serious trouble with the Police."