‘Illegal fireworks will not be tolerated’

IN the run-up to Halloween, police in Banbridge are making the public aware that the sale of illegal fireworks and the misuse of fireworks will not be tolerated.

Police have received a number of reports from across the area in relation to the inappropriate use of fireworks. A substantial number of complaints include the involvement of young people.

Inspector Jacqui Gillespie, Banbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team, explained: “”The inappropriate and illegal use of fireworks can be unsettling and intimidating for many members of the public. Fireworks are extremely dangerous in the hands of anyone not taking suitable precautions, especially children and young people.

“I am asking all parents to make themselves aware of the dangers and talk about this with your children. You should also make them aware of the legal repercussions of being found with illegal fireworks or bangers in your possession.

“Fireworks and bangers are illegal because of the danger they present. Any person who sells or supplies these items is acting illegally and with total disregard for the safety of others who use them.

“The law clearly states that fireworks must be bought from a licensed dealer who is required to keep sales records. Fireworks bought from other sources could be of a sub-standard quality, with the potential to cause serious injury. It is essential that you have a licence when purchasing any fireworks.”

Lots of people enjoy firework displays and most pass off without incident, however, points to keep in mind when using fireworks include:

- Fireworks that do not have instructions printed in English are illegal.

- All bangers are illegal.

- The purchase, possession or use of fireworks without a licence is an offence.

Inspector Gillespie added: “”Our advice to individuals planning firework displays is to deal with registered and licensed traders and seek their specialist knowledge.

“Pet owners are asked to keep their animals in a safe environment during fireworks displays, as they can find the noise and lights very unsettling.

““We would also appeal to the community to help us stamp out illegal trading and misuse of fireworks by contacting local police on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Your information may help prevent ongoing anti-social behaviour or someone being seriously injured. Your local Neighbourhood Policing Team will provide advice and assistance if required.”