Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service
 

FIREWORK RETAILERS FAIL TO HEED WARNINGS

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service’s continued campaign against retailers who sell fireworks to under eighteens appears to be gaining ground - but only in some areas

Last weekend a total of 86 unannounced visits were made to firework retailers in West Yorkshire. Youngsters who were accompanied by Trading Standards Officers attempted to buy air bombs, rockets, roman candles and sparklers. 10% of the retailers visited were prepared to sell to the youngsters.

Close working partnerships between Trading Standards Fire and Police Services enabled the officers to target trouble-hit areas where incidents of misuse and anti social behaviour had been received. In addition spot checks were made at shops where no complaints had been received in order to gain a full picture of the problems associated with the sale of these age-restricted goods.

In the Wakefield area 4 out of the 17 shops tested (that’s a shocking 25%) illegally sold to a 14-year-old schoolgirl. In Kirklees it was 2 out of 23 (9%) and in the Leeds area 2 out of 21 (10%). The fireworks sold were air bombs, giant sparklers, fountains, a selection box and a large display firework.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards are so concerned by these findings that co-ordinated visits with the Fire and Police Services will continue to be made to outlets where illegal fireworks are reported to have been sold.

In light of this disappointing information Martin Wood Chief Trading Standards Officer said:

“Despite an intensive programme of advisory visits and a regular flow of information to retailers it looks like the message is NOT getting through. My strict enforcement policy will remain in force until the end of the Bonfire Season and this will include test purchasing at those premises about which complaints have been made. I will have no hesitation in taking legal proceedings against anyone found selling fireworks to children”

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 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”
For further information contact:

Carol Hallett: General Media Contact: 0113 3836407
Patricia Harter Enforcement Officer 0113 2898 217
Paul Cooper Divisional Manager 0113 2898240


Notes to Editors

The fireworks purchased are available for a photocall