MP's warning to firework thugs in Hull

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today warned that those found misusing fireworks in Hull in the run up to 5th November face £80 on the spot fines.

Under the Fireworks Act 2003, a range of tough new powers are available to the police for the first time this year to deal with the import, sale and misuse of fireworks.

Diana Johnson MP is encouraging local people to help make the new laws work by reporting suspected offences, particularly on misuse of fireworks and illegal under-age sales, to the Police and Hull City Council's Trading Standards Department.

The Hull North MP also warned that if the new laws do not work in sufficiently curbing the dangerous and anti-social use of fireworks, tougher legislation would have to be considered, including the possible outright ban of the private sale of fireworks. This would mean that fireworks would only be seen legally at professionally organised public displays.

Diana Johnson MP said: "This is the first full year that new fireworks legislation has been in force.

"The new £80 fixed penalty fines will help the police get tough on those who misuse fireworks and make people's lives a misery in Hull. Other new powers including strict import controls, curfews, possession offences and a noise limit will help limit the problems suffered by local people from firework misuse in recent years.

"My message to those who may be tempted to misuse fireworks in Hull is that these new powers will be used against you and anyone who makes life a misery for local residents. When you are caught, if you refuse to pay the £80 fine, you will face an increased fine of £120 and court action.

"The new powers should ensure that fireworks, appropriately used, are a pleasure for the whole community and not a dangerous weapon in the hands of those who see this time of year as an opportunity to be anti-social and cause weeks of nuisance and distress to decent families and their pets.

"I hope that the new legislation proves sufficient to allow the majority to enjoy the Guy Fawkes festivities through curbing the mindless behaviour of a minority. If not, the next stage would be a complete legal ban on the private sale of fireworks."

Home Office Minister, Hazel Blears MP, said:

"We are taking action to tackle the firework yobs in the run-up to bonfire night.

"Fireworks can be fun, but they can also make peoples' lives a misery. Law-abiding families should not have to live in fear of yobs throwing firecrackers, explosives smashing windows or loud bangs going off night after night."