Public urged to help combat surge in illegal fireworks

Members of the Long Tower Youth Club with their Firework Safety posters following safety training by the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team and Community Restorative Justice. (151113JC1)

Members of the Long Tower Youth Club with their Firework Safety posters following safety training by the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team and Community Restorative Justice. (151113JC1)

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Community workers have called upon the Derry public to help in the fight against illegal fireworks which are believed to be on the streets of the city again.

Within the Triax area community workers are actively engaging with children and young people with stark warnings about just how dangerous illegal fireworks can be.

And they want the public to join in with efforts to eradicate these dangerous - and potentially lethal - items from the city’s streets.

Sean Collins, chair of the Triax Community Safety Forum, confirmed that illegal fireworks have returned to the city, despite the best efforts of many to halt their availability.

“Not only are people being tortured on the streets and in their homes, but there is potential that an adult, child or animal could be seriously injured,” Mr Collins told the ‘Journal’.

“Would you give your child pocket money to go out and buy a dangerous item with which they could lose their eyesight or their fingers or worse?” he asked.

“Well, someone out there is doing exactly that - so do you wait until the worst happens to your child or do you act now?”

A number of initiatives are being implemented to raise community awareness of the issue. Community Restorative Justice (CRJ) recently launched a billboard at Free Derry Wall highlighting the dangers posed by fireworks, and Triax Neighbourhood Management Team are going into schools and local youth clubs to talk about the dangers of using these illegal items.

Donna McCloskey added: “We would ask parents to be aware of what their kids are spending their pocket money on.”

Catherine Pollock explained that illegal fireworks are not subject to any health and safety legislation and so are potentially even more dangerous. “If anyone has any information on where these fireworks are being sold we would encourage them to contact the PSNI or a local community organisation immediately,” she said.