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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 00:52 GMT 01:52 UK
Fireworks curfew to take effect
Fireworks for Hogmanay
Displays on New Year's Eve will have a different curfew
A fireworks curfew with penalties up to a 5,000 fine and six months' jail comes into effect on Saturday.

The ban on fireworks between 2300 and 0700 is part of a range of measures introduced by the government to clamp down on anti-social behaviour.

Exceptions have been made to the ban for major events such as New Year's Eve and bonfires on 5 November.

The measures also make it illegal for anyone under 18 to carry fireworks in public places.

Shops cannot sell fireworks louder than 120 decibels under the new laws.

New Year displays will be allowed to continue until 0100, but Bonfire Night fires must be out by midnight.

Balance

Consumer minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: "Fireworks can be fun but can also cause misery.

"Introducing a curfew and a noise limit balances the law to ensure that people can still enjoy fireworks whilst cracking down on their anti-social use."

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents welcomed the new measures, but said the curfew seemed aimed more at curbing noise levels than improving safety.

"Hopefully though there will still be some benefit for safety if people keep to it," he told BBC News Online.

He said the society opposed banning fireworks totally for fear it would merely drive the problem underground and open the door to potentially more dangerous fireworks to be imported.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Nicola Carslaw
"People who breach the law will face stiff penalties"



SEE ALSO:
Move to curb firework nuisance
23 Apr 04  |  Scotland
MPs back fireworks crackdown
28 Feb 03  |  Politics


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