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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-03987: Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 24 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to promote community-led schemes that aim to prevent harm to vulnerable people during Halloween, Bonfire Night and as the evenings become darker.

Answered by: Annabelle Ewing 3 November 2016

The Scottish Government continues to work with a range of partners and with communities to support and promote community safety.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is working with local partners to highlight the dangers of fireworks and bonfires. This includes working in partnership with schools and community groups on a range of initiatives to help reduce fire related antisocial behaviour and help protect vulnerable people from harm and distress. One such initiative has seen Firefighters and Community Safety Advocates visiting schools across Scotland to present a National Bonfire presentation which aims to positively engage with and educate children in the 11 – 13 age group. This work is being supported by a television and radio campaign.

Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, which is core funded by the Scottish Government, also plays an important role in offering reassurance to local communities. By sharing alerts on potential criminal activities and offering advice on keeping safe they encourage communities to look out for one another. In advance of, and during, the Halloween and Bonfire night period, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland is issuing a series of alerts to communities highlighting the dangers of misusing fireworks, lighting bonfires and advising people how to stay safe.

Police Scotland is currently running a number of campaigns about keeping safe during the Halloween and Bonfire Night period. This includes social media campaigns to promote personal and home safety advice across Scotland. The #DarkerNights and #ClocksGoBack social media campaigns are being promoted by Local Policing Divisions to provide advice and reassurance on home and personal safety. The campaign also provides advice to keep people safe from thieves and others who would exploit vulnerable groups.