THE emergency services are working with the council to tackle nuisance crimes in the run up to Bonfire Night.

Operation Spark is a joint initiative between Cheshire Fire and Rescue, Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire West and Chester Council to keep November 5 as incident-free as possible.

Cheshire West and Cheshire Council is stressing it is unsafe and illegal to build and light bonfires in public, open spaces unless it is an official organised event.

Trading Standards Officers are making test purchases in shops across the borough to make sure that no one under the age of 18 can buy fireworks and retailers are encouraged to ask for ID from anyone who looks under 25.

It is also illegal for someone aged under 18 to carry a firework in a public place and illegal to throw or set off fireworks in a street or public place.

CW&C Councillor Lynn Riley said: "By working together with police and fire and rescue, and with the help of local people, we can make sure everyone enjoys a safe Bonfire Night."

John Salt, performance manager for Cheshire Fire and Rescue said: "We are all working together to keep people safe and make sure an exciting and enjoyable period is not tarnished by an increase in anti-social behaviour and nuisance fires."

Inspector Rob Woodward from Cheshire Constabulary’s western partnership unit said: "This scheme is about keeping bonfire night a safe, enjoyable celebration for everyone."

PCSOs will visit elderly and vulnerable residents to offer reassurance and address their concerns.

Residents are being offered flyers to put up in their windows to tell trick or treaters they are welcome or to ask them not to call. The leaflets are being delivered to homes, are available from shops and police stations or can be printed from

To report incidents of anti-social, nuisance or criminal behaviour in the run-up to or during Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night, call 0845 458 0000.

If you spot an unofficial bonfire you can report it on the Council’s new Bonfire Hotline on 0300 123 7026 and action will be taken to remove it.

Organised bonfires include:

Chester Roodee Racecourse on November 7, 5.30pm

Dodleston Bonfire & Fireworks on November 7, 6pm, off Church Rd and Penfold Way, Dodleston