Illegal fireworks seized in police raid at Tewkesbury teen's home
ILLEGAL fireworks have been seized by police in a house raid.
Boxes of the industrial-sized pyrotechnics were discovered at a property in Priors Park, Tewkesbury, yesterday.
Officers had been tipped off that a teenager at the address had been selling them from home.
They are now warning that a number of the firework packets had been purchased and urged anyone who might have bought them to hand them in to the police.
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It comes as hundreds of families across the county gear up for fireworks displays on November 5.
Police fear people could be seriously hurt if they use one of the illegal explosive devices in their garden.
Detectives discovered 11 boxes of the professional fireworks, which are listed as category four, in a shed behind the house.
The front room was also full of the fireworks, waiting to be boxed up.
Inspector Owen Hughes, acting chief inspector for Tewkesbury, warned people could be seriously hurt if they attempted to use any of the fireworks.
He added that the force would come down hard on anybody caught possessing fireworks illegally, as part of the police's efforts to protect people in the community from serious injuries.
"We want to send out a message to the public that the possession of illegal fireworks such as these in the community will not be tolerated," he said.
"They pose a serious danger to the public and, in order to ensure people in the community are protected from any harm, we will clamp down hard on anybody we find in possession of them, whether it is for their own use or to sell on."
As part of the operation a 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a category four firework and supplying a category four firework to the public.
Category four fireworks are considered specialist display fireworks and should be sold only by professional and handled only by experienced and licensed individuals.
The seized fireworks were taken to a safe and secure store by the police and the man was later bailed to return to the police station on November 29 whilst officers continue their investigation.
PC Chris Barnes said: “We have established that some fireworks have been sold to the public and we are anxious to trace them. We believe these to be two ‘Grand Missiles’, two ‘Screaming Missiles’, two ‘Sky Assortment Rockets’ and one ‘Grave Shaker’.
“They are suspected to be category four fireworks and should not be used or handled by the public in any way.
“Should any member of the public be in possession of these fireworks or know where they are they should contact the police or the fire service immediately.
“These are highly dangerous fireworks that contain a lot of explosive material and they need to be safely stored or destroyed by professionals.”
Anyone who has purchased these fireworks or has any information about them is to contact PC Barnes by dialling 101.
You can also give information anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
The fireworks are Scream Missiles, Grand Missiles and Sky Assortment – all produced by Dancing Fireworks Red Devil.
Rockets and other items were taken from the house in a police van after being seized under section 73 of the explosives act.
In the UK, fireworks are split into four categories.
Under the law, members of the public can only own category one or indoor fireworks, category two or garden fireworks and category three or display fireworks.
Category four or professional fireworks are for sale only to people who possess a licence.
Under the law, this covers anyone employed in a business that fires fireworks, such as a firework display outlet, or a stagehand.
Most stores which sell category four fireworks will ask for proof of training before allowing anyone to purchase them.
Anybody who believes they many have purchased the illegal fireworks should contact Gloucestershire police on 101.