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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Police to tackle firework fears
Police want to reduce the risk posed by those using fireworks recklessly
Police and trading standards officers are to visit retailers across South Lanarkshire in a bid to crack down on the illegal sale of fireworks.

It is part of a raft of measures aimed at protecting communities in the run up to Bonfire Night on 5 November.

About 130 local traders will be targeted.

Police patrols will also be stepped up across the division to tackle those causing a nuisance by setting off fireworks in residential areas.

Ch Supt Tim Love, Divisional Commander for South Lanarkshire, said: "There is always an increased demand on the emergency services at this time of year, as they respond to complaints regarding persons causing annoyance or danger to others by recklessly setting off fireworks.

"We want to make it clear that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated and it is an offence for retailers to supply fireworks to persons under 18 years of age."

Councillor Gerry Convery, chair of community resources at South Lanarkshire Council, welcomed the measures.

We are not trying to be killjoys - fireworks may be a lot of fun for people, but they can be a real cause of terror for animals
Tom Gatherer, Scottish SPCA

He said: "It really is important that we get the message across that although 5 November is a night of fun and celebration, the use and abuse of fireworks brings a number of dangers which can turn fun into tragedy.

"We aim to work closely with the retail trade, and with communities, to educate, inform and, where necessary enforce."

People who use fireworks are also being urged to think about the risk to animals.

Regional Supt Tom Gatherer, of the Scottish SPCA, said: "Around this time of year we receive a large number of calls from concerned members of the public regarding fireworks.

"Remember to be considerate. Please make sure to tell neighbours in advance of any display.

He added: "We are not trying to be killjoys - fireworks may be a lot of fun for people, but they can be a real cause of terror for animals of all types."

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