Police warning of increased security at Donnington bonfire

Police have warned those attending Saturday's Donnington bonfire that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

The pallets for the Donnington bonfire were set alight a week before the event. Photo: Cathy Leek
The pallets for the Donnington bonfire were set alight a week before the event. Photo: Cathy Leek

Last Saturday arsonists set fire to a huge mound of pallets piled high ready for the event a week early. There were reports of people sending lit fireworks into the unlit bonfire.

Organisers were able to re-build it with new donations of pallets in time for the event - billed as the largest in Shropshire.

Telford Police took to social media with a message for anyone looking for trouble.

Saturday's Facebook message said: "Tonight the Donnington Bonfire will be on. Police will be there and security will be in place inside the event.

"You may be searched and if you are found with a weapon you will be arrested. This is a family event and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. Please have a fun evening."

Firefighters responded to the 999 calls when the bonfire went up in flames on November 5 but said the safest option was to let it burn out.

Organiser Mark Mitchell, whose family have run the event for 45 years, said there had been a great community response to seeing the bonfire rebuilt.

He said his father Alf, who started the event and is now in his 80s, had been heartbroken at the arson attack and had got stuck in to help rebuild the bonfire.

Local companies supplied pallets and delivered them to the site to ensure the night could still go ahead.

Mr Mitchell said: “The Mitchell family would like to thank everybody for their kind words and support, also for the offers of wooden pallets to help rebuild Shropshire’s biggest bonfire and firework display.”

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