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Warning issued over sale of illegal fireworks in Merseyside
9:58am Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
A warning has been issued by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service about the dangers of bangers and selling fireworks illegally.
Fire officers report that some youngsters have had their fingers blown off after lighting bangers.
Fire officers working in FIRST (Firework Incident Research Safety Team) along with police have seized 38 tonnes of illegal fireworks since the beginning of 2006.
Fireworks can only be sold by retailers between October 15 and November 10, and shopkeepers must register first with the fire service.
The illegal sale of fireworks and poor storage can lead to a conviction.
Members of FIRST also carry out test purchases to uncover those selling fireworks illegally.
The number of illegal fireworks seized has reduced from 12 tonnes in 2006 to 1.5 tonnes in 2012.
Watch manager Ian Mullen, who is leading the bonfire strategy for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service this year, said: "In some serious cases in Merseyside young people have had their fingers blown off by bangers.
“They are unpredictable and are dangerous.
“People who sell illegal fireworks, particularly to youngsters, could be responsible for leaving them with serious injuries through firework misuse.
"Selling fireworks out of the back of a van or a house is illegal.
“It is also illegal to throw fireworks in the street. Joint inspections will also be carried out by Fire Officers and Trading Standards to ensure shops are registered by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to sell fireworks."
Bangers were made illegal by Fireworks Safety Regulations in 1997. Any retailer caught selling them may face six months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to £5,000.
Chief Superintendent Rowley Moore, from Merseyside Police, said: "Anti-social behaviour throughout this period will not be tolerated and anyone suffering from it should call us so that we can take action.
"I would also warn anyone thinking of selling fireworks illegally to think again.
“Selling fireworks without a licence and selling fireworks that are counterfeit are both criminal offences and highly irresponsible and we will be out in force in the coming weeks to crack down on this problem."
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