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Firework nuisance

Fireworks have always been used to mark occasions such as Diwali, Bonfire night and the Chinese new year, but unfortunately fireworks are also being misused to cause anti-social behaviour in the street and damage to property.

Often incidents involving fireworks last for a very short time, but where the perpetrator can be identified we do try to stop them from behaving irresponsibly in the future.

Incidents involving the use of fireworks in the street should be reported to the Police by calling 101.


Legal controls

There is a nighttime curfew on the use of fireworks, which are relaxed during times of traditional or religious and cultural events. It is now a criminal offence to let off fireworks between 11pm and 7am other than on "permitted fireworks nights" which are:

  • 5th November, when the curfew is extended to midnight
  • Diwali, when the curfew extends until 1am
  • New Years Eve, when the extension extends until 1am
  • Chinese New Year, when the extension extends until 1am

Other legal controls imposed on fireworks include:

  • A ban the sale of noisier fireworks capable of 120 decibels or more to the public
  • Limiting the sale of fireworks during the year other than by licensed suppliers
  • Requiring firework retailers to display signs explaining the new laws
  • Requiring importers to inform Customs and Excise of information relating to fireworks movements.

It is an offence for under 18s to possess fireworks in a public place other than caps, poppers and sparklers. If caught, the Police can issue £80 fixed penalty notices.

Use of 'category 4' (the most powerful and noisy) fireworks is banned other than by trained professionals.

These laws are enforced by the Police and Trading Standards Officers.

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