Yobs throw fireworks at police and the public in Portsmouth incidents

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YOBS who threw fireworks at the public and a police officer on Bonfire Night are being hunted.

Police say a handful of youths marred the fireworks celebrations with anti-social behaviour.

In one incident a firework was thrown at a police officer in Eldon Street, Southsea, between 6pm and 9pm on Saturday.

Chief Inspector for Portsmouth North, Richard Taylor, said most of the public were well behaved.

But he said some youths who threw fireworks in the city centre area of Portsmouth acted ‘irresponsibly and dangerously’.

Chief Insp Taylor said: ‘We did have some fireworks thrown at an officer.

‘There were fireworks thrown at other people going about their business and vehicles.

‘There were about three or four incidents.

‘Clearly there were some young people who were acting highly irresponsibly and dangerously.

‘We would seek to appeal to anyone with any information about that to let us know.

‘We have got no reports of anyone injured but there were members of the public who were very frightened about having fireworks thrown at them.’

Twelve extra police officers were on duty in Portsmouth on Bonfire Night and others had their shift patterns changed to boost numbers.

Hampshire Constabulary also worked with the city council, fire service and Safer Portsmouth Partnership, council contractors Colas and First Wessex Housing Association to help ensure celebrations did not go up in smoke on Guy Fawkes night.

Dedicated Bonfire Action Teams eased pressure on the fire service by responding to initial call-outs to bonfires in the city to assess whether they were safe – and decide if and when they should be put out.

Chief Insp Taylor added: ‘The Bonfire Assessment Teams have been very successful. Apart from isolated incidents we think it was a very successful weekend from a policing point of view.’

Gerry McDougall, from the anti-social behaviour unit at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘All indications are that this year’s Bonfire Night was a successful and safe night for the residents of Portsmouth.

‘The number of incidents that the Bonfire Assessment Team responded to was down on last year.

‘In fact, no fire appliances were deployed other than for extinguishing bonfires at community events and these attendances had been pre-arranged with the fire service.

‘This is a great achievement given the mild weather conditions and the fact that Bonfire Night fell on a Saturday this year.’