Consequences in store for retailers selling fireworks illegally
Dated: 04 Nov 2009
Police are firing up their efforts to ensure retailers in Newcastle and Gateshead know the law when it comes to selling fireworks, especially to young people.
As part of the 2009 Bonfire and Fireworks campaign, the two central teams are targeting licensed outlets in the city and town centre to give retailers information about the sale of fireworks and the consequences they face if they are caught selling fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.
The neighbourhood policing teams in Gateshead will also be briefing retailers and giving them information regarding fireworks and the laws associated with selling them.
Acting Inspector Colin Lowther of Gateshead Central team said: "After the success of Operation Gladiator, an operation focused on targeting underage drinkers and the sale of alcohol to young people, we know we can achieve positive results by working with our multi agency partners regarding the sale of fireworks and firework safety.
"We will be using the same approach to target retailers selling fireworks to under 18s. We also want to send a clear message to members of the public that it is a criminal offence to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 and should decline any request to purchase fireworks on behalf of somebody else."
Newcastle Neighbourhood Police teams will be monitoring licensed retailers as part of their local operations.
Chief Inspector Ged Noble said: "The Newcastle neighbourhood teams will be visiting all licensed retailers to ensure they fully understand and comply with the legislation which regulates the sale of fireworks especially to persons under the age of 18.
"In addition, our officers will be conducting high profile patrols in the vicinity of the these retailers to deter the purchase by under 18's and will be working with Newcastle Trading Standards who will be conducting test purchase operations.
"Positive enforcement action will be taken against those who commit offences, fireworks are dangerous items and we intend to reduce the risk of injury to members of the Newcastle Community.
Police are working with local partnerships to encourage people to enjoy a safe bonfire night by attending an organised fireworks display in your area.
Chief Fire Officer Iain Bathgate, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We are working closely with the police and Trading Standards to make sure that shopkeepers are sticking to the law, that they are storing fireworks in safe way and that they are not selling fireworks to underage children.
"Fireworks are explosive and in the wrong hands have the potential to be lethal. We urge everyone to have a safe and enjoyable bonfire experience by attending professionally organised displays instead of hosting their own."