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									  OPERATION CASCADE 2002



                            Operation Cascade 2002


Operation Cascade provided a multi-agency approach to reduce the numbers of deliberate fires and
associated juvenile nuisance during the period of Halloween and Bonfire night in 2002. It
responded to the requirements of the Quality of Life Strategic Theme in the South Ribble
Community Safety Strategy 2002-2005.

This year was the fourth in which agencies within South Ribble participated in Operation Cascade.
The experience gained from previous operations was used effectively to plan and implement the
various actions required of the partners. In particular, a number of locations were identified as
potential unauthorised bonfire sites and advice on firework and bonfire safety targeted to
householders, school children and their parents, within the locality of these sites.


The number of unauthorised bonfire sites increased during the operation and a location list is
provided for reference within the monitoring and evaluation report. Bonfires were built repeatedly
on a number of the sites, the most notable being at Leadale Green, Leyland and Tardy Gate
Recreation Ground, Lostock Hall. The apparent lack of adult supervision of the bonfires was a
cause of concern.

Disturbance caused by exploding fireworks has resulted in an increase in complaints to South
Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire Constabulary around the bonfire period. Some of these
were general complaints about noise arising from fireworks over the weeks leading up to 5th

The number of complaints to Leyland Police about the misuse of fireworks increased significantly
when compared to complaints made during a similar period in 2001.Complaints were made about
misuse of fireworks by both adults and juveniles. They included allegations that property was being
targeted and damaged.

The sale of fireworks to persons under the age of eighteen was also highlighted during Operation
Cascade. Fireworks were sold to juveniles in 100% of the test purchases made at retail premises in
South Ribble. This occurred despite the advice given to traders about the prohibition of sales to

Grocery traders in Penwortham and Bamber Bridge were advised to prohibit sates of eggs or flour
to juveniles during the Bonfire and Halloween period.Officers at Penwortham and Bamber Bridge
received considerably more complaints than officers at Leyland.

The cost of Operation Cascade is met by the partner agencies. Officers are diverted from other
duties during the operation. Lancashire Constabulary provided additional targeted patrols in the
evening, during the operation. South Ribble Borough Council and New Progress Housing
Association incurred additional expense in removing bonfire material from parks and recreational

The partner agencies are referred to within the report by the use of abbreviations and a key for these
is included on the final page of this document.

             Action                Partners        Cost/Funding                         Output                          Target                         Outcome

1. Provide information on         SRBC        Printing costs met by           1000 information leaflets to     All leaflets, letters and      Reduction in number of
   firework and bonfire safety.   LC          SRBC Community Safety           households in targeted           posters delivered to the       bonfire sites on public open
                                              Budget.                         areas. Deliveries in Leyland     intended recipients before     space before 5th November
                                  LCC                                         arranged by YOT.                 end of October 2002.           2002 than in the same
                                  NPHA        Dti leaflets supplied free of   2,800 letters to parents of                                     period in 2001.
                                  B&N         charge but numbers are          primary school children in
                                  LF&R        limited                         targeted areas.
                                  YOT                                         Visits to primary schools in
                                                                              target areas by LC Youth
                                                                              Involvement Officer.             Press release issued
                                                                              Press release to local           October 2002
                                                                              newspapers and radio
                                                                              Information provided for         Information submitted
                                                                              inclusion in NPHA                to NPHA for inclusion in
                                                                              newsletter.                      autumn publication.
                                                                              Posters and information
                                                                              leaflets sent to libraries for   Targets met
                                                                              Firework safety leaflets and
                                                                              posters displayed in
                                                                              Lancashire County Council
                                                                              Trading Standards

2. Respond to complaints of       LC                                          2 complaints of noise            Respond to complaints of       No further complaints
                                                                              nuisance from fireworks          noise and nuisance arising     relating to the
   nuisance and concerns for      SRBC                                                                                                        persons/premises subjects
                                                                              investigated by SRBC.            from bonfires within 5
   safety arising from bonfires   LF&R                                        Two abatement notices            working days.                  of notices.
   and/or nuisance from           NPHA                                        served.
   fireworks.                     B&NHA
                                                                              11 complaints                    Responses made on the day      Some bonfires removed
                                                                              nuisance/safety of bonfires      of complaint or the next       successfully to satisfaction
                                                                              investigated by SRBC             working day.                   of complainant but repeated
                                                                              advice given and/or                                             burning at some sites

                                                                        removal arranged.                 Targets met                    resulted in further
                                                                                                                                         complaints being received.

                                                                        Leyland Police attended
                                                                        four bonfires which had
                                                                        been lit and received
                                                                        complaints about
                                                                        disturbance from fireworks.
                                                                        One of these complaints
                                                                        was also investigated by
                                                                        SRBC and resulted in the
                                                                        service of noise abatement

                                                                        All traders applying for          Leaflet sent out by LCC to
3. Provide information to         LCC                                   explosives registration to        all traders along with
                                        Dti leaflets supplied free of   receive an advice leaflet re      registration receipt.
   traders on the legislation     LC                                    the storage of fireworks and
   governing sales of fireworks         charge but numbers are
                                                                        under age sale
   and check compliance.                limited.

                                                                        Traders to receive a routine      31 premises registered for     No significant storage
                                                                        inspection to examine             the storage of fireworks. 19   problems encountered.
                                                                        fireworks being sold and          received inspection by LCC
                                                                        storage conditions.

                                                                        Police officers engaged on
                                                                        Cascade visited and
                                                                        revisited all retail outlets in
                                                                        the Bamber Bridge &
                                                                        Penwortham Police area,
                                                                        giving them Dti information
                                                                        on the sale of fireworks and

                                        advising them regarding the
                                        law. Further Dti firework
                                        code information was left
                                        to be handed to customers
                                        who purchased fireworks.
                                        POP Co-Ordinator and
                                        Trading Standards carried
                                        out joint visits to retailers in
                                        Bamber Bridge & Lostock
                                        Hall.In Leyland all
                                        registered retailers were
                                        visited by a police officer
                                        following which one
                                        retailer decided not to
                                        reopen for the sale of

                                        Complaints of under age            2 premises were visited in     100% of premises visited
4. Respond to complaints of       LCC   sale of fireworks to be            under age sale operation.      sold to under 18. Similar
                                        logged and used as                 Both shops sold to under       figures for last years
   misuse of fireworks , sales of LC    intelligence in under age          18.                            operation not available.
   fireworks to young persons           sales operation.
   and /or egg/flour throwing.
                                        No complaints of underage                                         Increase in the number of
                                        sales received.                                                   complaints received by
                                                                                                          Leyland Police from
                                        Police Officers engaged in                                        13 in 2001 to 31 in 2002.
                                        Cascade attended the
                                        following incidents.
                                        Bamber Bridge :-
                                        32 Firework nuisances.
                                        10 Egg throwing nuisances.
                                        Penwortham :-
                                        19 Firework nuisances.
                                        14 Egg throwing nuisances.
                                        There were no Hot Spot
                                        locations identified the
                                        incidents were evenly
                                        spread across this part of
                                        the borough.

                                                                         31 firework misuse
                                                                         3 egg throwing
                                                                         8 bonfire/firework nuisance

            Action                 Partners        Cost/Funding                   Output                         Target                         Outcome

                                              Total cost of removal      18 sites checked regularly     Removal of material and        Reduction in number and
5. Check sites for the presence   SRBC        £3090.00                   from October to November       debris and work completed      size of bonfire sites on
                                                                         2002                           on day of request or next      public open space before
   of material for burning and    NPHA        The highest costs were     Leyland                        working day.                   5th November 2002 than in
   remove the material and fire   B&NHA       associated at Leadale      Leadale Green, Wood                                           the same period in 2001.
   debris.                                    Green £555.00              Green, St John’s Green,
                                              Seven Stars Road £300.00   Hillbrook Road, Low            Targets met
                                              Tardy Gate £270.00         Green, High Green,
                                              Wood Green £225.00         Ashfields, St James
                                                                         Gardens, Queensway,
                                                                         Seven Stars Road,
                                                                         Leverhouse Lane,
                                                                         Woodlands Drive,
                                                                         Shawbrook Road,
                                                                         Cheetham Meadow,
                                                                         Farington Gates.

                                                                         Lostock Hall

                                                                         Tardy Gate Recreation
                                                                         Ground, St Cuthberts

                                                                         Penwortham Hall Park
                                                                         Nutter’s Platt

                                                                         A total of 35 incidents were
6. Respond to calls to            LF&R                                   responded to by LFRS
                                                                         during the campaign dates      Targets met
   extinguish bonfires.                                                  and Bonfires extinguished

                                         30 of these calls were in the
                                         Leyland area and 11 of
                                         these calls related to
                                         incidents at Leadale Green
                                         The Police for Bamber
7. Provide advice to traders and    LC   bridge & Penwortham area
                                         sent all retail grocery
   request that sales of eggs and        outlets a letter advising
   flour to young persons be             them of problems from
   restricted.                           previous years relating to
                                         egg & flour throwing at
                                         school half term and in the
                                         run up to Halloween and
                                         Bonfire Night. A request
                                         was made of them not to
                                         sell eggs to persons under
                                         the age of 18 years.


Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service reported that the bonfires they attended in 2002 had been kept
to a smaller size and the time spent on extinguishing them was reduced.

Children spoken to at the bonfire sites showed determination in pursuing the construction and
lighting of bonfires despite advice and instruction to the contrary. It is concluded that diversionary
activities for children during the Cascade period would deter them from potentially hazardous
bonfire operations and that this approach should be considered next year.

The issues of underage firework sales and their misuse are of particular concern. Further measures
should be included in future Cascade operations to address these and the general disturbance from

Information on the number of injuries sustained from bonfires and fireworks would be helpful in
assessing the benefits of running Operation Cascade. For this purpose, representatives from the
local Primary Care Trusts should be invited to participate in Operation cascade next year. Although
safety advice was given this year, a further target of reducing the risk of accidents and injuries from
bonfires and fireworks should be included in the strategy next year.

Operation Cascade met the targets set in the Community safety Strategy for 2002. Its success in
meeting these and the suggested additional target would benefit from increasing the funds available
to meet operational costs. It is therefore also concluded that additional external funding should be
sought for the development of Operation Cascade in 2003 and future years.

Partnership Agencies

South Ribble Borough Council (SRBC) Lead Agency

Lancashire County Council (Trading Standards) (LCC)

Lancashire Constabulary (LC)

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LF&R)

Bradford and Northern Housing Association (B&NHA)

New Progress Housing Association (NPHA)

Youth Offending Team (YOT)


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