NEW LEGISLATION WILL MAKE FIREWORKS SAFER
CRIMINAL OFFENCE TO SUPPLY THEM TO UNDER 18s FROM NEXT WEEK
Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the news that new powers to enforce the safe use of fireworks are to come into force next week.
Legislation making it a criminal offence for anyone to supply fireworks or other pyrotechnic articles to a child or person under 18 comes into effect on 10 October.
From the same date, attacks on emergency workers using fireworks or pyrotechnics will also become aggravating factors that can be taken into account when courts sentence offenders.
The measures are set out in the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022 passed by the Scottish Parliament on 29 June.
The key powers are being brought into force in advance of Bonfire Night and build on steps taken last year restricting the times fireworks can be used, when they can be bought, and the quantity.
Work is progressing to enact other powers set out in the Act, including the introduction of a fireworks licensing system, with mandatory safety training, for people wishing to purchase and use fireworks, and introducing powers for local authorities to designate firework control zones.
Community Safety Minister Ash Regan said: “These important new powers have been delivered at pace and make it a criminal offence for anyone to supply fireworks or other pyrotechnic articles to a child or person under age 18.
“Fireworks in the wrong hands can cause serious, life-changing injuries or even prove lethal. Preventing their supply - in any way - to under 18s is a wholly welcome step which will bring greater public safety across Scotland.
“It’s also extremely important swift work has progressed which will see hard-working and brave 999 crews - who work tirelessly to keep us all safe - better protected.
“Any attack on fire, ambulance and police crews is utterly despicable so ensuring courts are required to take into consideration the use fireworks or pyrotechnics as a possible aggravating factor in any attack on 999 crews is a real deterrent to such vile behaviour.
“Work is now progressing to see other provisions set out in the ground-breaking legislation brought into force. These are essential steps which demonstrate our absolute commitment to improving the safety of communities across Scotland.”
Chief Inspector Nicola Robison from Police Scotland’s Partnerships, Preventions and Community Wellbeing Division, said: “Fireworks, when not used lawfully, present a significant risk to the public and so preventing such items from being purchased by, or for, anyone under the age of 18, is vitally important for keeping communities safe.
“Buying fireworks for underage youths can result in a £5,000 fine, six-months imprisonment, or both and our message is clear. Do not risk it. Help us prevent disorder, damage and violence over the Bonfire Night period.
“The new aggravator for attacks on emergency service workers is also a welcome legislative change and should give all frontline first responders additional reassurance that their safety and wellbeing is paramount as they go about their duties.”