Home Editor's pick Warning around the misuse of fireworks

Warning around the misuse of fireworks

by Jonathan Kearney

People misusing fireworks in the build up to the Halloween and bonfire period could face criminal charges.

Knowsley Council is working closely with emergency services and community safety partners including housing associations to help protect residents and to tackle nuisance, anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Used irresponsibly, fireworks can cause damage to property and do significant harm to people and animals. Not only is there a danger from fireworks exploding, they can also pose a serious fire risk as well.

The misuse of fireworks could result in a fine, arrest, police charges and potentially a criminal conviction. This includes behaviour such as:

  • Throwing a firework in the street
  • Making a bonfire in the street
  • Throwing fireworks at properties, vehicles and people.

Restrictions around the sale and use of fireworks

The sale of fireworks is limited to people aged 18 and over.

It is against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except at the following times:

  • Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am

If you know of people letting off fireworks outside these times in Knowsley contact Merseyside Police on 101 or email the Council’s Crime and Communities team on safer.knowsley@knowsley.gov.uk

Members of the public may only use fireworks on private property, such as their back gardens. Only licensed professionals can use them in public places.

Vendors can be fined an unlimited amount and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

Taking action against anti-social and criminal behaviour

Knowsley Council’s Crime and Communities, Environmental Health and CCTV & Security teams are working closely with Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioners Office and local housing associations to address concerns and reports from the local community.

  • Knowsley’s CCTV network of more than 950 cameras will continue to be monitored 24/7. The Council Control room has direct access to Merseyside Police’s Command and Control Room. This means that the police can be immediately notified of any incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour occurring and police patrols can be deployed accordingly.
  • Footage captured of criminal or anti-social incidents is shared with Merseyside Police and partners in order to identify offenders.
  • Knowsley Council’s Environmental Health Team will ensure local businesses understand their waste disposal responsibilities – particularly when people may want to use it for anti-social fires.

Knowsley Council’s Street Scene Team will offer additional support through their waste disposal vehicles – being on hand to remove incidents of fly tipping that could be used for anti-social fires. You can report fly tipping online here.

Please report any build-up of combustible material that could be used for deliberate fires via the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service website.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “Anti-social and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in Knowsley. The safety of our residents is paramount and we will work closely with community safety partners to ensure action is taken against anyone who puts other people’s safety at risk. I would urge anyone with information about criminal and anti-social behaviour to contact Merseyside Police, or in confidence to our Crime and Communities team, to ensure action can be taken.”

Chief Inspector Duncan Swan said: “Anyone involved in criminal behaviour could be arrested and receive a fine, a criminal record or even jail time. If your child is under 16 then you will be liable for payment of any such fine.

“We all have a part of to play to play so that everyone stay safe over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

“I urge retailers not to sell items to children which can cause harm on others, and parents to ensure your child is behaving responsibly.

“No parent would want a knock on their door from a police officer informing them that their child has been arrested or, worse still, has been involved in a serious accident.”

Report criminal and anti-social behaviour

In an emergency always call 999.

To report to Merseyside Police call 101, via the Merseyside Police website or by direct message on Facebook and X @MerPolCC

You can also anonymously tell Police about areas where you feel unsafe because of anti-social behaviour via ‘StreetSafe’.

Or report anonymously to:

Knowsley’s Crime and Communities Team by emailing Safer.Knowsley@knowsley.gov.uk

Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111