Scotland’s Community Safety Minister has launched a fireworks misuse campaign at a Glasgow school.
New regulations have been put in place this year – including limiting firework use to between 6pm and 11pm, extended to midnight on certain days such as Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve or some religious festivals – but Ash Regan told the PA news agency more legislation to regulate the pyrotechnics would be introduced in the coming months.
On Wednesday, Ms Regan visited Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow to help launch the fireworks misuse campaign launched by Fearless, a youth programme set up by charity Crimestoppers.
“I think over the last few years there’s been a sense that the general public are getting a bit annoyed with fireworks misuse,” she said.
“I love going to watch fireworks displays, I know a lot of the public really enjoy watching organised fireworks displays, but there’s a number of people – a small number of people – that are using fireworks inappropriately, which means they can get injured and there can be some distressing effect in their communities.
“We know that a number of people have pets that really suffer over bonfire season, people with PTSD can suffer with it as well and just that general feeling of people not wanting to see fireworks misuse in their areas.”
Fearless operates an online platform that allows children to pass information about crimes anonymously to Crimestoppers, with certain features on the website disabled so the informant cannot be tracked.
Lyndsay McDade, the national youth projects co-ordinator for Fearless, said: “It’s incredibly important that young people keep themselves safe and know the dangers of fireworks.
“The period around Bonfire Night can be a time of much anxiety and fear for some people as a direct result of fireworks misuse and instances of anti-social behaviour.
“Our campaign really focuses on reminding young people that they can play their part in reducing that fear by behaving responsibly, considering others and speaking up 100% anonymously at Fearless.org if they know or suspect who is responsible.”
Despite Bonfire Night also falling during the Cop26 climate summit this year, Ms Regan was certain the emergency services would be able to deal with any issues.
“We do have additional police resources that we’re able to bring in from elsewhere in the UK, so I’m quite confident that the police have planned for this and they’ve planned for the fact that they’ll be able to do business-as-usual policing… and also the additional level of policing that are needed for Cop26,” she said.
The recent changes are not the end of measures to protect people from the harms of fireworks, according to the minister.
A consultation earlier this year spawned the changes already brought into effect but also showed the need for further legislation.
“We’re also anticipating bringing forward another Bill later in the parliamentary term,” she said.
“We haven’t finalised that Bill yet, I’ll be able to speak to you a bit more about that when we bring it forward, which will be shortly – it’ll be in the next few months.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe