As Bonfire Night is upon us, Hampshire Constabulary is urging people to be considerate to others and think about the laws surrounding fireworks. What should be a festive event can be become a very miserable occasion for many people living in Hampshire if fireworks are not used in the correct manner.
Police officers and will be out and about across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight during the busy firework and bonfire period to reassure the public and to deal with any incidents which arise.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Neighbourhoods and Partnership lead, Chief Inspector Jerry Patterson said: “Bonfire Night should be an enjoyable and safe occasion for everyone. However, people should remember that fireworks are dangerous and that it is illegal for anyone to set off or throw fireworks in the street.
“Fireworks can be extremely dangerous when misused and can cause serious injury. We are urging people to be sensible and careful and we don’t want anyone hurt or distressed because of the stupidity of someone else’s behaviour with fireworks.”
It is an offence to set off fireworks after midnight on November 5 and after 11:00pm on any other night, excluding New Years Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali night. Individuals found setting of fireworks at unsocial hours could be given an £80 fixed penalty notice.
Anyone under the age of 18 caught possessing adult fireworks in a public place or throwing fireworks in the street could be issued with an £80 penalty notice.
The Fireworks Act makes it an offence to:
- Let fireworks off in a public place. A public place is anything other than your own property such as parks, the street or at school.
- For anyone under 18 to possess fireworks in a public place (other than a sparkler).
- Possess public display fireworks by anyone other than a firework professional.
- Set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am – apart from on 5 November, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and the Chinese New Year, when the curfew is extended to midnight.
It is illegal for shops to sell fireworks without an appropriate licence. Shopkeepers must also display a notice for customers, explaining the law. There is a compulsory training course and a 120-decibel noise limit for all those organising large public fireworks displays.