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Should there be a ban on selling fireworks?

PUBLISHED: 05:30 30 October 2019

Cllr Mike Lilley  Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL

Cllr Mike Lilley Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL

Calls to ban the sale of fireworks to the public have been made after three rockets were fired at police officers who were responding to reports of anti-social driving in Colchester.

The incident happened near the Cowdray Centre in the Essex town on Saturday, as officers got out of their car after responding to reports of an unauthorised car meet.

As they stepped out of the car, three large fireworks were aimed at them and set off by offenders stood nearby.

Since the incident, Portfolio Holder Public Safety & Licensing at Colchester Borough Council, Mike Lilley has called for a ban of the sale of fireworks to the public.

He said: "This is just another example as to why the sale of fireworks to the public should be banned. Sadly there is very little that the borough council can do, it has to come from the government.

"I am a little lost for words. It is incredible that someone would do this. They were basically firing explosives at police officers in a built up area. It is so dangerous."

A dispersal order was put in place on the Severalls Industrial Estate on Saturday, October 26 following reports of an unauthorised car meet.

It followed regular reports from residents and businesses about anti-social behaviour at previous gatherings, including dangerous driving and criminal damage.

There were no issues reported at the business park that evening, but a number of drivers moved to the Cowdray Centre, off Cowdray Avenue, where a further dispersal order was put in place.

Officers also attended reports of a large number of cars racing in High Street shortly before 7.10pm and Mason Road shortly after 7.45pm where there were also reports of fireworks being let off near houses.

Inspector Jonathan Evans, of Colchester's Community Policing Team, said: "While we have no issue with genuine car enthusiasts, racing on public roads and driving dangerously puts lives at risk.

"While officers were at the Cowdray Centre, three large fireworks were fired in their direction. We also had reports of fireworks being fired near houses in Mason Road. Fortunately no one was hurt."

Anyone with information or dash cam or mobile phone footage of dangerous driving and other criminal offences is asked to call the Community Policing Team on 101.


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