Issued By
Cumbria County Council

FIREWORK SURVEY REVEALS PROBLEMS

 

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service’s continued campaign against retailers who are suspected of selling fireworks to under eighteens is being ignored in some areas.

During a survey, which was carried out last weekend, a total of 115 visits were made to firework retailers throughout West Yorkshire. Youngsters, who were accompanied by Trading Standards Officers, attempted to buy air bombs, rockets, roman candles and sparklers at all the shops visited. Areas targeted were those where the Police and Fire Service had reported concerns about misuse and anti social behaviour.

Seven illegal sales occurred.  One shop in the Wakefield area sold a packet of sparklers to an 11 year old, one in Leeds sold a pack of rockets to a 14 year old, but five shops in Kirklees sold varying selections of fireworks to a 14 year old girl. A staggering 33% of retailers tested in the Kirklees area were prepared to sell to children.

West Yorkshire Consumer Helpline is receiving a flood of complaints, about a wide range of issues, from sales being made to children as young as seven, to sales occurring at car boot sales, residential premises and even from ice cream and burger vans.

Martin Wood, West Yorkshire’s Chief Trading Standards Officer, said, “Despite many advisory visits made by my officers and the regular flow of information we have given, the message does not seem to be getting through to some retailers. One illegal sale is one too many.  Our strict enforcement policy will remain in force and that means the test purchasing will continue and any shopkeeper who sells is likely to have to account for their actions before the local magistrates court.”

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of the Trading Standards Committee, added:

 “We must do everything we can to stop this illegal trade in fireworks. We must protect our youngsters from injury and help our elderly and vulnerable citizens, who are plagued by the constant nuisance and noise resulting from explosions going off at all hours of the day.   If anyone knows or suspects a shop to be selling to children they should contact the Consumer Helpline on 0113 3848 848”.

 

For further information contact:

Patricia Harter Enforcement Officer 0113 2898 217

Paul Cooper Divisional Manager 0113 2898240

Graham Hebblethwaite  General Media Contact 0113 2898218