Police chief calls for ‘urgent’ review into sale of fireworks after shocking Bonfire Night attacks in Sheffield

Police chiefs have demanded an ‘urgent’ review into the sale of fireworks after a series of shocking incidents where they were thrown at emergency workers and members of the public in Sheffield.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 5:29 pm
Updated Friday, 6th November 2020, 5:30 pm

South Yorkshire Police said fireworks were used in a series of attacks across the city on Bonfire Night.

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Police officers dealt with a number of firework-related incidents in Darnall, Sheffield, last night. Picture from @DarnallResident on Twitter.

In some of the most serious cases, the force said fireworks were thrown at police officers and vehicles, with the behaviour described as ‘not acceptable’.

Members of the public and vehicles were also targeted.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The dangerous, irresponsible and unlawful use of fireworks we have seen over recent days can no longer be ignored.

“We have witnessed numerous pitched battles in the streets with fireworks being used as a weapon of choice and fired indiscriminately at police officers.

“This is not just a ‘bit of fun’ it is a serious issue which can, and does, lead to people being badly injured.

“The current legislation is clearly not fit for purpose, and there must be a comprehensive and urgent review which should include the availability of over the counter fireworks.

“I am aware this matter has been raised in Parliament many times, but nothing has happened.

“This position is not sustainable for an apparently civilised society.”

He added: “On behalf of my colleagues, I will be raising my concerns directly with the Home Secretary and senior leaders within policing.

“This violent behaviour towards emergency service workers, who are doing their jobs and helping people in need, is totally unacceptable.”

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