PSNI urge people to act 'responsibly and safely' at bonfires

The PSNI in Derry have asked people to act 'responsibly and safely' if the are attending an August 15 bonfire tonight.

Bonfires were traditionally lit in nationalist areas on August 15 to mark the Catholic Feast of the Assumption of Mary and before then the lúnasa harvest festival.

Fifty years ago they became associated with the revolt against internment in nationalist areas.

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Ahead of bonfire night, the PSNI at Strand Road, have asked people to take care and make sure they act within the law.

A previous August 15 bonfire in the Bogside

In a statement the force said: "If you are attending a bonfire tonight, please act responsibly and safely.

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"Respect the local community and be mindful of families or younger children attending events.

"We do not want anyone to end up with a criminal record so please remember that placing effigies or election posters on bonfires can constitute a criminal offence such as theft or criminal damage and can also be deemed a hate crime."

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The PSNI said people require permission to place and light bonfires.

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"Remember, anyone operating a bonfire must have permission from the landowner to do so.

"Alcohol can affect the choices you make and make you act in a way you normally never would. Please drink responsibly where it is legal to do so and remember that it is illegal to purchase alcohol for consumption by a person under 18 and illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase of consume alcohol.

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"Let’s all work together to ensure that everyone is kept safe," the PSNI said.