Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Fireworks targeted in new police initiative

Hundreds of fireworks have been seized in Londonderry as police carried out a major crackdown on the illegal use of the potentially lethal devices.

PSNI teams carried out searches in the Cityside this week under the explosives and fireworks regulations and found different types of illegal fireworks at both business and residential premises.

A total of 1,400 bangers, 14 rockets and 30 other assorted fireworks were seized along with 16,000 illegal cigarettes, with further searches now planned in the days up to and beyond Halloween.

A series of high visibility patrols will also be staged across areas where fireworks are causing danger to residents, pets and property over the coming days.

Shops and licensed firework retailers have been warned to expect unannounced visits, while schools are also being visited to alert children to the dangers.

The crackdown comes as problems with fireworks escalate across the north west, with reports of explosives being fired at windows in Limavady.

PSNI Foyle Neighbourhood Inspector Trevor McKeown last night said: “I would ask parents to make sure they know the whereabouts of their children and to make sure that they are not engaging in any criminal activity or criminal damage to property.”

“I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to use fireworks which have not been approved in line with health and safety regulations. We do not want to see anyone injured or maimed.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Lynn Fleming said the misuse and distribution of illegal fireworks in the Waterside had become a real issue of concern for local people.

“Parents need to be extremely vigilant that their children are not handling these fireworks, both for their own safety and the safety of others,” she said.

For further information, see: www.nidirect.gov.uk/fireworks.

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