I’m no party pooper but sale of fireworks should be banned, says police chief

Greater Manchester Police’s chief constable has called for an outright ban on the sale of fireworks to combat anti-social behaviour.

Ian Hopkins said the use of the pyrotechnics should be restricted to professional displays only so they are no longer used by young people to “terrorise” communities.

Mr Hopkins made the comments after some residents said they were living in fear following fireworks being set off at an estate in Tameside.

He said he did not want to come across as a “party pooper” but the law needs to be made stricter.

“We cannot go and purchase a weapon, the sale of knives is being restricted,” the chief constable said.

“The time has come to do the same around fireworks.”

Mr Hopkins told BBC Radio Manchester on Wednesday that every year in the run-up to Halloween, Bonfire night and Diwali, both fire and police services were left struggling to cope.

“We need to restrict the sales to young people who think it is acceptable to go around and terrorise communities,” he said.

“The answer cannot be that more firefighters and more police officers turn up to deal with this and people are scared to go out of their homes.”

Fireworks can be purchased by anyone 18 years of age or older but it is against the law for them to be used on the street or in public places.

It is also illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions.

Anyone under the age of 18 cannot buy fireworks and it is also illegal for them to possess them in a public place.

People can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using them illegally.