A Derby shop-keeper could face a fine of up to £5,000 or six months imprisonment after Trading Standards Officers from Derby City Council found them illegally selling fireworks.
Officers test purchased fireworks in an undercover operation after reports were received that the shop in the Normanton area of the city was stocking up on fireworks. Notices were served on the retailer prohibiting further sales.
Unless specially licensed, shops are not allowed to sell fireworks before the 15 of October.
The operation was part of the multi- agency work under Operation Relentless with a particular focus on reducing the potential for anti-social behaviour around Bonfire Night.
Joint work involving such organisations as Derby Community Safety Partnership, Derby City Council Environmental Services, Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has led to a year on year reduction in the number of firework misuse incidents in the city from 202 in October and November 2006 to 98 in 2009 – an approach that has won national acclaim for reducing anti-social behaviour at this time of year.
They include the distribution of hard- hitting posters highlighting the potentially fatal consequences of playing with fireworks and the fact that it is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am except on Bonfire Night (midnight); New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year (1am).
Police and Neighbourhood Wardens will be carrying out extra patrols in hotspot areas and the police will also exercise its powers to issue £80 PNDs (Penalty Notices for Disorder) to tackle fireworks misuses and stop and search powers if they suspect an individual of being in possession of fireworks, or that a vehicle contains prohibited fireworks.
Cllr Matthew Homes Deputy Leader of Derby City Council said:
“This store was not licensed to sell before the 15th of October and could face legal action. I urge all firework retailers to make sure they stick to license conditions and work with the City Council to make the bonfire period as safe as we can”.
“Fireworks are explosives which can cause serious injuries and deaths. Nearly 1,000 people, half of them children, received hospital treatment for injury in the four weeks around bonfire night in 2005. About 48% of those injuries occurred at family or private parties. The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a properly organised public display”.
Trading Standards, Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service will jointly be inspecting premises to check firework storage and carrying test purchases to ensure fireworks are not being sold to youngsters.