Crackdown over firework menace

TERRIFIED residents have called in police after a spate of incidents in which fireworks and bird scarers have been let off on the streets of a Suffolk town.

In the 10 days since April 28, more than 50 calls from worried residents in Haverhill have flooded into Suffolk police.

The force says as well as targeting incidents in which fireworks have been let off, officers will also be investigating how the fireworks and bird scarers have ended up in the hands of youngsters.

A spokeswoman for the police said complaints centred on youths throwing or lighting fireworks and bird scarers – usually during the evenings or early mornings.

To date, damage has been confined to a telephone box and dustbins when fireworks have been lit and placed inside.

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Police say the noise generated had “caused considerable distress to many residents, particularly the elderly and vulnerable”.

A number of young people have been spoken to and fireworks confiscated.

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Insp Chris Galley said: “Anyone playing with fireworks is putting themselves and others in danger. It is fortunate that no-one has been injured by a firework going off.

“A small amount of damage has been caused by fireworks being set off, and should a fire start from a lit firework this could have even bigger consequences.

“Fireworks should only be used by adults and in a controlled environment. It is an offence for a person under the age of 18 to possess outdoor fireworks, and it is also illegal for fireworks to be used after 11pm at night.

“Those people who are setting off fireworks in Haverhill are at the very least causing a nuisance to other people and such anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

“I want everyone to feel safe and be safe in Haverhill. I would encourage anyone with any information about the supply and illegal use of fireworks in the town to contact the safer neighbourhood team.

“Additional patrols are being carried out in areas where we have received reports of anti-social behaviour, and anyone seeing or hearing such behaviour should call police immediately.

“Any young people found with fireworks will have them confiscated and they will be taken home to be dealt with in conjunction with their parents or guardians.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 01473 613500.

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