Review group calls for tighter control on fireworks.
An expert group that includes police, fire and animal welfare representatives has called for the introduction of no fireworks zones and tighter restrictions on the purchase and use of fireworks.
The independent Firework Review Group has submitted its final report to Ministers, urging a fundamental shift in the way fireworks are bought and used.
The call comes following widespread public support across Scotland to reduce the negative impact of fireworks.
The group, chaired by former Chief Fire Officer Alasdair Hay, has recommended a number of measures be taken forward, including:
* the introduction of mandatory conditions when fireworks are purchased from retailers * restricting the times of day fireworks can be sold and volume of fireworks that can be purchased at any one time * restricting the days and times fireworks can be set off * the introduction of no firework areas or zones
* the creation of a proxy purchasing offence to prevent adults from buying fireworks on behalf of those under the age of 18
Responding to the report, Community Safety Minister Ash Denham told Parliament:
“I welcome and fully endorse these recommendations and thank Alasdair Hay and the members of the Review Group for their diligent work, especially in recent months during the pandemic.
“We are determined to keep all of Scotland’s communities safe from the harmful use of fireworks and the group’s findings will help us achieve that.
“I will now explore how these recommendations can be implemented, within the powers available to Parliament, and bring forward legislation to make these a reality.
“With Bonfire Night approaching, it is vital the public continues to adhere to the rules on meeting up with other households to help stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). If someone does plan on using fireworks I would urge them to please do so responsibly and safely and to be mindful of their neighbours. I would also ask them to consider the various harmful impacts the noise of fireworks can have, including on our veterans, those with sensory issues and on our pets and livestock. Adapting alternative celebrations and sticking to the rules in place can go a huge way to ensuring everyone’s safety.”
Chair of the Review Group Alasdair Hay said:
“I am pleased to set out the recommendations from the Firework Review Group. We have carefully considered the available evidence, and believe a step change is needed in how fireworks are accessed and used by the general public.
"This is not to prevent adults using fireworks sensibly and safely – rather, to ensure all safety requirements are fully understood and adhered to, and the impact on others has been fully considered.”