Police step up patrols over bonfire weekend and in the run up to Guy Fawkes Night

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Bonfire Night can be spectacular - but it is important to remember not everyone enjoys the evening or hearing fireworks being set off.

Police will be carrying out extra patrols over the weekend and up to Guy Fawkes Night, Wednesday, November 5 to help the public stay safe and there are number of steps you can take to ensure a great Bonfire Night.

Remember fire is dangerous. Even small bonfires can get out of control very quickly. Wherever possible attend a professionally organised event, especially if fireworks are also involved.


• Fireworks are noisy (which can upset very young or elderly people as well as pets) they can cause damage and they can cause serious injuries if not used properly.

• You have to be 16 or over to buy ‘novelty’ fireworks, such as sparklers, caps and ‘serpents’, and 18 or over to buy all other types of fireworks.

• It is an offence to let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am except on 5th November, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year when the curfew is 1am. It is also an offence to set off fireworks in a public place.

• Please buy fireworks from outlets that have agreed to store and sell their fireworks responsibly.

• Please think of potential dangers before setting off Chinese Lanterns. There is a risk, particularly in rural areas, of them landing still alight near hay barns and there is also a danger of livestock ingesting pieces of wire from discarded lanterns.

Legislation and background information:

A firework is “any device intended for use as a form of entertainment which contains, or otherwise incorporates, explosive and/or pyrotechnic composition, which burns and/or explodes to produce a visual and/or audible effect.” The Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997.

There are 4 categories of firework:

Category 1: These are suitable for use inside domestic buildings, and must be marked ‘indoor’.

Category 2: These are for outdoor use in gardens and paddocks etc. and require a minimum spectator distance of 5 metres, and must be marked ‘outdoor’.

Category 3: These are display fireworks for use in large outdoor spaces, e.g. recreation grounds, large fields, etc., and require spectator distances of a minimum of 25 metres, and must be marked ‘display’.

Category 4: These are for specialist use and may only be used by a professionally trained and qualified person, generally at an organised public fireworks display, and therefore the general public are prohibited

from possession such fireworks.

Adult fireworks:

Can only be bought by persons aged 18-years or over and may not be possessed by persons aged less than 18 years in a public place, with certain exemptions. Persons less than 18 years who possess a firework in a public place are contravening Section 11 of the Fireworks Act 2003 and Regulation 4 of the Fireworks Regulations 2004, which can result in six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine.

Anyone aged 16 or over may possess any of the following:

Caps, cracker snaps (the bit in a cracker that goes bang when the cracker is pulled apart), novelty matches, party poppers, serpents, throw downs and sparklers.

Throwing a firework

Any person who throws a firework into a public place will be contravening Section 80 of the Explosives Act, which can result in six months imprisonment and/or fine.

Possessing a Category 4 firework

Any person who possesses a category 4 firework will be contravening Section 11 of the Fireworks Act 2003

and Regulation 5 of the Fireworks Regulations 2004, which can also result in six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine.