Shops pass under-age fireworks sales tests

Trading Standards of The Highland Council are praising the vigilence of Highland retailers following a recent test-purchasing exercise in which no sales of fireworks were made to an under-age volunteer.

The 15-year-old volunteer attempted to buy rockets when he visited over a third of retailers registered with the local authority to store and sell fireworks.

Gordon Robb, Trading Standards Manager, said he was pleased with the results. He said: “Unlike what we experienced over the last three years, all the retailers we visited this year refused to sell to our young volunteer.  13 retailers were visited over the three week firework sales period in the run up to 5 November. Every one declined to sell our volunteer any fireworks after asking for proof of age.

 “Fireworks in the wrong hands can cause horrific injuries and are also a common source of anti-social complaints, making our work in this area a priority, especially with the evidence from previous year’s work.

 “Complaints do, however, continue to be made about fireworks getting into the hands of young people and being set off in the street and late at night; so youngsters are apparently still getting hold of them.”

He urged retailers to be vigilant at all times as the Council is committed to carrying  out test purchasing on various age restricted products throughout the year. 

An older person buying age restricted products for an underage person may themselves be committing a criminal offence and should think of the consequences.

It is illegal to sell fireworks to a person under the age of 18 with a sale carrying a maximum fine of £5,000 and a six-month prison sentence.

Anyone with information about the supply of age restricted products to children can contact Highland Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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8 Nov 2011