Fireworks could be banned in certain areas and restrictions around sales are set to be strengthened
New plans have been unveiled to clamp down on the sale of fireworks in Scotland.
Moves by the Scottish Government could see localised bans on their use and mandatory online safety courses for anyone organising private displays in Scotland.
However campaigners have said actions not words are required.
The independent Firework Review Group has submitted its final report to ministers, urging a fundamental shift in the way fireworks are bought and used.
The call comes following widespread public support across Scotland to reduce the negative impact of fireworks.
The group, chaired by former chief fire officer Alasdair Hay, has recommended a number of measures be taken forward, including:
- the introduction of mandatory conditions when fireworks are purchased from retailers
- restricting the times of day fireworks can be sold and volume of fireworks that can be purchased at any one time
- restricting the days and times fireworks can be set off
- the introduction of no firework areas or zones- the creation of a proxy purchasing offence to prevent adults from buying fireworks on behalf of those under the age of 18
Community safety minister Ash Denham said: “We are determined to keep all of Scotland’s communities safe from the harmful use of fireworks and the group’s findings will help us achieve that.
“I will now explore how these recommendations can be implemented, within the powers available to parliament, and bring forward legislation to make these a reality.
“With Bonfire Night approaching, it is vital the public continues to adhere to the rules on meeting up with other households to help stop the spread of coronavirus. If someone does plan on using fireworks I would urge them to please do so responsibly and safely and to be mindful of their neighbours. I would also ask them to consider the various harmful impacts the noise of fireworks can have, including on our veterans, those with sensory issues and on our pets and livestock. Adapting alternative celebrations and sticking to the rules in place can go a huge way to ensuring everyone’s safety.”
However Danny Philips, a community campaigner on fireworks from Pollokshields in Glasgow, said communities have been waiting years for action. He said: "Today's ministerial announcement on fireworks was disappointing. It's is two years since we were promised action on fireworks. And today, the minister simply reiterated the terms of reference of the Scottish government firework review group. The fact she is promising action again is welcome but the First Minister promised us action in 2018 and action was supposed to be well on the way by now. The minister even warned that she might not have parliamentary time to legislate before the Scottish Parliamentary Elections.
“Fireworks cause misery in communities across Scotland. People with livestock, pets, young children and disabled children in particular find fireworks distressing. Fireworks some of them huge, are misused and they encourage anti-social behaviour. Some communities are under seige in the run up to bonfire night and it is a huge amount of dangerous work for our emergency services to control. We are told that even the riot police have been put on standby, this year. The minister acknowledges there is an appetite for cultural change in Scotland. Now is the time the Scottish Government must stop talking and take action to ban fireworks."