More than a thousand fireworks seized in crackdown on illegal underaged Internet sales in Sheffield
Officers have seized more than 1000 fireworks in an operation to tackle illegal and underage sales through social media sites in Sheffield.
On Tuesday, the Walkley Policing Team carried out a planned vehicle stop on Birkendale and subsequent searches of a property in the Darnall area of the city.
A significant number of fireworks were seized under firework regulations and enquiries are continuing.
Sergeant Simon Kirkham said: “We’d received information that fireworks were being widely sold via a particular social media site, with pop up sales being arranged in people’s garages – as well as delivery by arrangement.
“Ultimately meaning unregulated sale of and storage of fireworks is taking place on our streets.
“We know that fireworks are being used as weapons and to cause fear at this time of year, as well as being used in incidents of anti-social behaviour. This is absolutely not acceptable and it’s dangerous.
“As well as ensuring we have a robust response to incidents when they happen, tackling the supply chain is really important.
“The operation was intelligence led and involved a number of stop searches, the investigation is ongoing, but I hope people are reassured by our seizures this week.
“These particular fireworks were being stored at an ordinary family home, which means that there was a real risk to the occupants of the house and nearby properties.”
The team are working closely with Trading Standards and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service as part of their enquiries.
Sgt Kirkham added: “I want this to be a warning to people who are exploiting social media to sell fireworks illegally, that we are on to you.
“You’re not going under the radar, we are aware of what is happening, and we could be paying you a visit.”
Only people who are licensed with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue can sell fireworks.
If you see anyone selling fireworks on social media that shouldn’t be, or spot a site that looks suspicious, please contact us on 101 or using the online reporting tool.
Alternatively, you can stay completely anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers via their website Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling their UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111.