This has absolutely baffled me. In an effort to stop arson, Cleveland Fire Brigade is offering youngsters football training in the run-up to Bonfire Night to reduce the number of dangerous fires.
This is a follow up to an earlier event in their Play With a Football Not with Fire campaign.
I just don't get it. How will getting a crowd of children, at the taxpayers expense, playing football for a day make any difference to the incidence of arson? How much is this costing? Will all the firemen involved have to go through the process of background police checks to ensure they are 'child safe'?
Taking a few of them off the streets for a couple of hours will make precisely no difference whatsoever. And the underlying message that Guy Fawks night is dangerous is one that is becoming increaseingly prevalent. As a national celebration I cannot see it lasting the decade.
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