Warning to South Tyneside shops selling fireworks

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Retailers across South Tyneside are being warned they will face prosecution if they are caught selling fireworks to under 18s.

The reminder – part of the borough’s Darker Nights campaign – comes as the Bonfire season gets underway.

We will consider prosecuting anyone selling fireworks illegally

Chris Lowther

The law states it is illegal for under-18s to buy or be in possession of a firework.

Those caught in possession of them are also being warned they will face police action.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable bonfire season and not have it ruined by fireworks being misused.

“In our effort to do this we want to make sure people are clear on the law around fireworks and that they don’t get into the wrong hands and are used by youngsters playing around.

“Retailers are reminded if they’re unsure of whether someone is underage, to ask for ID.

Assistant Chief Officer Chris Lowther, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Businesses intending to store and sell fireworks must ensure their premises have a current explosives licence and adequate fire safety provisions are in place to store fireworks safely.

“The safety of the public is at the centre of everything we do, therefore I remind those businesses and the public we will consider prosecuting anyone who sells and stores fireworks illegally.”

Residents can report issues relating to underage or illegal sales by calling the confidential hotline on 0800 093 5878.

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety on South Tyneside Council, said: “Bonfire Night is meant to be a time of fun and excitement, but it can also be extremely hazardous. It is vital we remind people fireworks are not toys, but explosives, and are dangerous if misused.”

People are asked not to leave out wheelie bins overnight.