Holyrood gears up to tackle fireworks nuisance

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A Scottish Government consultation on fireworks could light the fuse on a plan to control how they are sold and used.

The move follows years of concern about the risks to safety posed by their irresponsible use, and the distress or even injury they cause to people and animals.

Actions could include improved access to advice and support to reduce the anti-social impact of fireworks, and new national guidance to support local partner agencies.

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said the consultation - to be launched early next year - will try to improve understanding of the use and regulation of fireworks in Scotland.

Evidence will also influence discussions with the UK Government about legislation covering fireworks sales, which is currently reserved.

“Many people enjoy attending fireworks displays”, said Mr Denham, “but I am very aware from conversations with members of the public and emergency service workers that there is growing concern about the use and sale of fireworks to individuals.

“The hard work of the police and fire services to tackle dangerous and anti-social behaviour helped to reduce the number of bonfire night incidents this year.

“However, there were still a number of concerning reports and I am keen to hear the public’s views on the impact of fireworks and action we could take to improve the situation further.

“As much of the legislation on fireworks is currently reserved we will also continue to engage with the UK Government.”

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Director of Prevention and Protection, said:

“Our Service welcomes any wider public debate around matters of safety, which includes fire, and in particular the use of fireworks”.