A new operation hoping to crack down on firework-related antisocial behaviour and crime was successfully launched by police.
The joint operation, in collaboration between South Yorkshire Police and Trading Standards, tackled misuse of fireworks and illegal fireworks sales in the run-up to Bonfire Night weekend.
Police inspected over 60 premises selling fireworks, and only four of them failed the ‘test purchase’ operations to ensure that the staff were complying with the Challenge 25 policy and asking for proof of age before a sale.
The four premises that failed they were issued with a warning letter advising that a further fail may result in a police Community Protection Notice, which would give strict conditions to adhere to.
Inspector Jason Booth said: “This was a really successful and innovative bit of partnership working between ourselves, Trading Standards and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, to tackle the issue of youths having access to fireworks and the associated risks.
“It demonstrates a real willingness by all across Sheffield to crack down on firework-related crime and disorder and sends a strong message that this city will not tolerate misuse of fireworks”.
Over Bonfire Night weekend 203 firework-related incidents were reported, peaking on Saturday with a total of 583 incidents, although not all fireworks and antisocial behaviour related.
Chief Superintendent Scott Green said: “The period between Halloween and Bonfire Night typically sees an increase in antisocial behaviour and firework-related incidents called in to the emergency services. This year was no different.
“The number of calls was fairly typical for a busy weekend full of lots of different events and bonfire celebrations, and thankfully the weekend passed without any major incidents or significant crime. ”
However, police received a report from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue that one of their fire engines had been subject to criminal damage in the Grimesthorpe area of Sheffield.
Chief Supt Green said: “Luckily, nobody was hurt but it could have been a much more serious incident. It does appear that the fire engine was deliberately targeted, which is completely unacceptable”.