Majority support tougher action on firework and pyrotechnic misuse – survey

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The consultation sought views on the misuse of fireworks (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)

More than three-quarters of people have backed the creation of new offences to tackle the misuse of fireworks and pyrotechnics, a consultation has found.

A large majority of respondents (84%) also agreed that a fireworks licensing system should be introduced in Scotland.

The public consultation, which drew 1,739 responses, asked for views on the Scottish Government’s Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Bill

More than nine in 10 (92%) of those questioned agreed that a “proxy purchasing” offence should be brought in to criminalise the supply of fireworks to young people under the age of 18.

We are intent on further improving safety for communities across Scotland by taking forward the Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Bill at the earliest opportunity

Ash Regan, Community Safety Minister

And 77% backed the creation of a new offence of being in possession of a pyrotechnic in a public place without reasonable excuse or lawful authority.

Many raised concerns about the risks of fireworks and pyrotechnics and their potential to cause serious injury.

Community Safety Minister Ash Regan said: “The consultation builds on a significant programme of engagement and evidence gathering and demonstrated the range of views among those who responded.

“I am committed to making our communities safer and we have already moved quickly to introduce regulations restricting the times of day and the volume of fireworks that can be supplied to the public – as well as the times fireworks can be set off.

“We are intent on further improving safety for communities across Scotland by taking forward the Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Bill at the earliest opportunity to ensure appropriate action is taken over the sale and use of fireworks and to reduce the misuse of pyrotechnic devices such as flares.”

The majority of responses to the consultation were from individual members of the public while 64 were from groups or organisations.

The majority (85%) agreed that any licensing system should cover possession and use of fireworks in addition to purchase.

Seven in 10 (70%) agreed with extending police powers to allow a stop and search provision in relation to pyrotechnics.

More than two-thirds backed further restrictions on the days fireworks can be used by the public.

The proposed Bill is in addition to new regulations which came into force at the end of June restricting the times of day and the volume of fireworks that can be supplied to the public – as well as the times fireworks can be set off.

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