Gosport fire crew abused by youths while putting out blaze

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FIREFIGHTERS putting out a bin fire had abuse hurled at them by a gang of young people.

The crew from Gosport were called to Stanley Park in the town after a wheelie bin was ablaze.

They were being quite aggressive to us in their mannerisms, swearing at us and delaying us in the job.

Steven Burns

The trouble started in an area of the park close to the Alver Bank Hotel in Stokes Bay Road amid claims the youths set fire to two wheelie bins.

While putting out the flames in the early hours of yesterday morning, station manager Steve Burns said the group of youths shouted abuse at them.

‘There was lots of screaming and shouting and bottles being thrown,’ he said.

‘They set fire to parts of trees they had snapped off.

‘They were being quite aggressive to us in their mannerisms, swearing at us and delaying us in the job.

‘All six of us had to get off the appliance and watch each other.’

The crews used a hose to put out the flames.

Mr Burns said the police have been told about the incident which will be reported to the park warden.

He added: ‘Their behaviour is really irresponsible.

‘We have a job to do and we don’t need to face abuse while we do it.’

The crew were unharmed during the incident which happened at around 2.15am.

Councillor Graham Burgess, deputy leader of Gosport Borough Council, condemned the youth’s actions.

He said: ‘I have no idea why they would have been causing trouble.

‘If they have lit a fire, then they know the emergency services would come and put it out.

‘There was no need for them to cause trouble. We have some of the best firefighters in this country and they do not need to be antagonised by young people while simply doing their job.’

Cllr Burgess added he had never heard of this sort of trouble happening in Gosport.

People posted on social media saying CCTV should be installed to deter future problems.

One post said: ‘That park could do with CCTV at entrance points.

‘The investment would be worth it with the first conviction.

‘Other parks in Gosport have CCTV and seem to get better respect. Big fan of CCTV. Nothing to hide, nothing to worry about.’

Another added: ‘Total lack of respect for anything.’