Warning issued following spate of anti-social behaviour involving fireworks
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We are warning people about the dangers of fireworks following a recent spate of incidents in Staffordshire.
A group of young people caused a college to go into lockdown in Shelton yesterday (Monday 2 October) after they were seen using fireworks dangerously in the street. They appeared to be firing them at buildings and vehicles and were causing significant concern to those who were in the area at the time.
We deployed officers to the area but the group had since dispersed.
A 16-year-old boy, from Stoke-on-Trent, was arrested on suspicion of throwing fireworks in a public place. He has since been released under investigation.
Officers remained in the area for some time to provide reassurance and to continue searching for the group. We spoke with the college about what happened and are continuing to carry out enquiries to find out who was involved.
Last Sunday (30 September), we received a separate report of fireworks which had been set off in a pub in Tunstall. One of them hit a woman in the leg and caused minor injury.
Inspector Mark Burslem, from the Stoke south local policing team, said: “We have seen a spate of incidents recently involving young people using fireworks recklessly and causing alarm and distress to local communities.
“This resulted in a number of concerned calls to our control room yesterday and a college which triggered their own lockdown measures to ensure no one was hurt as a result of the group’s actions.
“We would like to reiterate that those who are using fireworks for this purpose will be targeted and are likely to face arrest, costly fines and even prosecution.
“We take these reports very seriously and do not accept people putting themselves and others in danger by using these dangerous devices recklessly.
“I’d like to encourage parents and guardians to speak to young people about the dangers of using fireworks, both for themselves and the people around them, and the legal actions they can face if they are caught using them in a dangerous and anti-social manner.
“Local officers are continuing to speak to people about what happened today and will be proactively patrolling the area and investigating any related reports as robustly as possible.”
In the UK, it is illegal to buy and possess fireworks if you are under-18 and it is illegal for anyone to set off or throw fireworks in any public place.
If you have any information which can help us with our investigation, call us on 101, quoting incident 552 of 2 October, or message using Live Chat on our website.
If you see anyone using fireworks dangerously or know of someone who might be using them to engage in anti-social behaviour, get in touch with us.