With Bonfire season coming into play over the next few months, including this weekend’s Rotherfield and Marks Cross on the 5th, we are reminding attendees to stay safe, and be reminded of the laws surrounding the use of fireworks.
Everyone should be able to enjoy fireworks safely, whether at an organised display or in their back garden. Find out the law around using fireworks as well as how to stay safe, and report those using fireworks in a dangerous or threatening way.
Categories of fireworks
Category one: ‘Throwdown fireworks’ including firecrackers, bangers and party poppers
Categories two and three: ‘Adult fireworks’ available in shops
Category four: Professional display fireworks available from specialist suppliers
Who can use fireworks?
According to The Fireworks Regulations 2004 The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015
Anyone over 18 can buy, carry or use category one, two and three fireworks
Anyone over 16 can only buy, carry or use category one fireworks
Anyone over 12 can buy Christmas crackers
Only licensed professionals can buy, carry and use category 4 fireworks
Unless part of an organised event by licensed professionals, fireworks cannot be used on the street or in a public place
It’s an offence to throw or set off any firework (including sparklers and category 1 fireworks) in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space
What time can fireworks be used?
Fireworks can be used in the UK any time from 7am to 11pm*
*Exceptions are, Bonfire night: 7am to midnight, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year: 7am to 1am the following day.
What is the impact of firework misuse?
Used irresponsibly, fireworks can cause damage to property and do significant harm to people and animals. Not only is there a danger from fireworks exploding, they can also pose a serious fire risk as well.
This is why members of the public may only use fireworks on private property, such as their back gardens, and only licensed professionals can use them in public places.
What you can do?
If a local retailer is selling adult fireworks to people under 18, please report it to your local Trading Standards department.
If children are setting off fireworks in your area, our first advice is to ask them politely to stop.
It’s possible they’re unaware that they are breaking the law. If you know their parents, perhaps ask them to intervene.
If you’re having an ongoing problem with people setting off fireworks, please report it to us.
Fireworks, Be Safe, Not Sorry – Always follow the code here.
Project Edward results the European-wide campaign to save lives
Sussex Safer Roads and Sussex Community Speedwatch took part in Project Edward (European Day Without A Road Death) on September 26th, 2019, that aims to bring casualty reduction and road safety to the forefront of people’s minds.
Community SpeedWatch is a national initiative where active members of the community join the Police to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed devices.
Thirty eight dedicated Community SpeedWatch groups throughout the County took part in the European-wide initiative. This resulted in generating 520 letters for drivers. One driver in a 30 mph zone was recorded as doing 68 mph and also a driver in 40 mph zone was recorded at 56 mph.
For more information on your local CSW groups, please click here.
Thousands spoken to during week of action to tackle knife crime
Between September 16 and 22, Sussex Police joined other forces across the country to raise awareness of knife crime as part of Operation Sceptre.
The national week of action saw our officers attending local colleges and schools to speak to young people about the dangers of knife crime and the potential consequences if they are found to be in possession of one. Throughout the week over 3,000 students at different educational establishments were spoken to and numerous discussions had about the impact they felt knife crime had on their community.
More information for parents and careers of young adults can be found here.
Test purchases were also carried out across the county. This involved Police Cadets working with officers and Trading Standards colleagues to try and buy a knife in shops when they were clearly under the age of 18. Out of 39 shops tested, 5 failed. Those that failed were given warnings and will be tested again. A further failure will result in them being named and either fined or prosecuted.
Increased patrols in town centres and other areas identified as anti-social behaviour hotspots across the district resulted in a number of items being found by officers. This included a homemade knife and a baseball bat with nails in.
Throughout the week members of the public were encouraged to dispose of knives and bladed articles in our knife amnesty bins placed at police stations across Sussex, all of which will now be destroyed.
Superintendent Ed De La Rue said: “Operation Sceptre gives us the opportunity to talk about knife crime in an open and honest way. I find it extremely encouraging that so many of you felt you could open up and speak to us about this issue, sharing your thoughts and experiences as part of the local community.
“Whilst we did increase our activity during this week of action, our activity to combat knife crime is part of everyday policing. We always have amnesty bins in police stations where you can drop off your dangerous and unwanted blades and we will continue to work with our partners to take positive action when knife crime occurs.”
If you need to talk to someone anonymously, Crimestoppers can be reached on 0800 555 111.
As always, you can report online or via 101. In an emergency, always call 999.
Sussex Police support for UN International Day of Older Persons
On the UN International Day of Older Persons, Tuesday (1 October), Sussex Police have re-affirmed the force’s commitment to promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of older people.
International Day of Older Persons aims to stand up to ageism and those behaviours which victimise the older members of our communities.
In July 2019, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Police, Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) released a report on all police forces across England and Wales seeking improvements in service delivery for older victims of crime.
Chief Superintendent Lisa Bell said: “We welcome the findings of the recent HMIC inspection report which presents some national recommendations to improve service delivery and safeguarding for older victims of crime.
“We will monitor the progress of National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) work in developing a consistent national definition of an older person and we have already started work to develop our response to the inspection findings through our public protection teams”
Sussex Police works hard to protect the elderly from crime. Prevention teams liaise closely with communities to reduce and prevent crime, such as fraud which is increasingly targeted at older people.
PCSO Damian Cecil, of Horsham says:
“We take crime against the elderly very seriously, and with more than 70% of fraud targeted at those over 60, this is a priority issue for whole force. As well as rogue traders, there are fraudsters who prey on the vulnerable by telephone, on the doorstep, by email and online too, including romance fraud.”
“We support and give reassurance to victims of these crimes, and safeguard them so they won’t be targeted further. We also gather intelligence to assist our prevention teams and Financial Investigations Unit in targeting fraudsters and disrupting fraud.
“To make others aware of the risks we visit sheltered housing schemes, social groups where we engage with elderly people and advise them on how keep themselves safe.”
Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne comments: “Research shows that nuisance calls, scams and financial coercion are the biggest concerns for older residents and in counties like Sussex, it is the 75+ age group that has proved most vulnerable to these crimes.
“I am pleased that Sussex Police continues to work hard on initiatives like Operation Signature which has been recognised by HMICFRS as good practice in identifying and supporting vulnerable victims of fraud.
“We must continue to provide preventative measures to support and protect older residents from being targeted by criminals in the future. This is why I funded two fraud caseworkers, who helped and supported 638 people last year alone; none of which have fallen victim to fraud since.”
See further information and advice about Sussex Police’s priorities of protecting older people on the Sussex Police website.
For more information about the International Day of Older Persons click here.
To find more information on the support services available for older and vulnerable victims, visit Safe Space Sussex.
For further information on how to spot and prevent frauds against the elderly and vulnerable see the Op Signature pages on the Sussex Police website.
During the day time of the 26th September, a property off Tidebrook Road, Wadhurst, had gardening tools stolen from their garage when an unknown suspect has forced entry and broken padlocks to gain entry (0065 of 28/09 relates)
An electric lawnmower was stolen from a business address off Hankham Road, Pevensey overnight on the 26-27th September where unknown suspects have entered via outer gates and removed padlocks to storage areas (0388 of 27/09 relates)
Personal items including clothing were stolen from an insecure outbuilding at a property off Coopers Green, Uckfield overnight on the 27th September
Garden tools were stolen from an insecure allotment off Laundry Lane, Heathfield, during the day time on the 27th September (0568 of 28/09 relates)
A sports club off the A271, Lower Horsebridge was broken into and gardening tools and electrical items stolen when suspects have forced entry and caused damage to the doors of an outbuilding/storage area overnight on the 27-28th September (0326 of 28/09 relates)
Overnight and into the day of the 28-29th September a residential burglary at a property off Highgate Road, Forest Row, was reported whereby unknown suspects have used an unknown tools to gain entry to double windows, once inside an untidy search of the property was conducted with various personal items stolen (0944 of 29/09 relates)
No further burglaries have been reported over the Wealden district.
Please visit our crime prevention pages on home security here, for ways you can protect your homes and belongings.
Help us keep Sussex safe
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at email@example.com or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
You can also visit our website at www.sussex.police.uk where you can find our easy to use online forms to report all non-emergencies to us.
You can also find police advice to keep you safe and help you understand the law, and also browse our crime prevention pages for first-hand knowledge, industry best practices and practical crime prevention advice from officers and specialist teams all across the police.
Have you ever had a policing question that doesn't actually require direct police involvement to answer?
Ask the Police is a great online source of information for the most frequently asked policing questions, visit www.askthe.police.uk/ for more information.
Message sent by
Jeremy Glew-Deval (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden)