Private security guards to patrol village's bonfire night celebrations (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Private security guards to patrol village's bonfire night celebrations
ORGANISERS of a village bonfire have hired private security guards in a bid to avoid a repeat of trouble which marred last year's event.
Two guards from Darlington-based Sparta Security North East will patrol Gainford's bonfire and fireworks display, complementing two PCSOs who will also be on duty.
Last year's festivities were targeted by groups of youths from outside the area who descended on the village after a message on Facebook incited troublemakers to go along and start fighting.
A number of disturbances broke out which resulted in a shop window being smashed and one youth arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour before those responsible dispersed in taxis and cars.
With fewer organised bonfires and fireworks displays taking place this year, Gainford officials say they want to keep theirs a purely village occasion.
There is no official Guy Fawkes celebration in Darlington and Bishop Auckland again this November and due to a huge increase in numbers flocking to Newton Aycliffe over the past couple of years as a result, organisers there have cancelled the town's display.
The bonfire in Spennymoor has been made all-ticket in an effort to halt an influx of people.
Linda Britton, chairman of Gainford and Langton Parish Council, said: “One of the issues we had last year was people coming in from all over, but the villagers want the bonfire for the village.”
She told a meeting of the parish council the security guards would be wearing helmets fitted with CCTV devices.
Coun Britton said other changes this year meant there would be no funfair on the green and temporary toilets, including facilities for the disabled, would be provided to stop revellers using the Cross Keys pub.
Coun Britton added that the arrangements had been drawn up with the agreement of the County Durham Safety Advisory Group (Sag).
The cost of staging the bonfire is being met through money raised at last year's display and village volunteers will be carrying collection buckets at next month's event.
Sergeant Simon Rogers, of Barnard Castle police said he had spoken with the bonfire's organisers and was satisfied with the arrangements.
“There will be PCSOs at the event and a beat officer is available if required. We have no issues with Sparta,” he said.
Comments are closed on this article.