SCORES of youngsters are getting their kicks at a football event
set up by Bury firefighters in the run-up to Bonfire Night.
Fireball is a caged soccer event which is running every night
this week, starting from Monday, October 29, in a bid to cut down
antisocial behaviour and fire calls in the area.
As part of the Treacle campaign, the mobile caged soccer unit is
being set up in Deal Street, next to the Kershaw Centre, between
4pm and 8pm each evening - giving children a safe place to gather
and the chance to play football with Bury firefighters, youth
workers and local police officers.
Firefighter Barry Scott, from Bury Fire Station White Watch,
said: "We piloted the caged soccer in Deal Street this time last
year and we saw a significant reduction in levels of antisocial
behaviour - and on Bonfire Night last year we didn't have a single
fire call in this area.
"We hold the caged soccer with the police at different times
throughout the year at various venues but following last year's
success we decided to run dedicated sessions in this particular
area in the run-up to Bonfire Night because there is antisocial
behaviour in the area, and we've called it Fireball.
"The police advertise the events as they know the youngsters in
the area and officers attend each night to help out and make sure
everyone is behaving! They are good kids though, and we enjoy
A 14-year-old boy, who lives in the area, said: "I wouldn't play
with fireworks anyway because I know what can happen - the police
and fire services came into school to tell us. But having the caged
soccer here keeps us out of trouble and I'll come here every
One 12-year-old girl, who also lives nearby, said: "Having the
caged soccer here gives the young people something to do and it
gives the park a better reputation because people think it's a
really scruffy place usually. The caged soccer makes more people
want to come here."
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is working
closely with the police, local authorities and partner agencies
throughout the Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night period as part of
Treacle - a partnership which aims to prevent and tackle antisocial
behaviour, criminal damage, incidents and injuries.
Partner agencies involved in Treacle include GMFRS, Greater
Manchester Police (GMP), ten local authorities, Trading Standards,
Transport for Greater Manchester, the Chamber of Commerce and the
Health and Safety Executive
Inspector Grant Adams, of GMP's Bury Division, said: "Events
like this are a superb way for police to connect with young
"It's important for them to take up sport or any other positive
activities, as they are then less likely to get involved in
antisocial behaviour or illegal activity and we will continue to
support initiatives like this that will benefit communities as a
To find out more about firework safety go to http://www.safe4autumn.com