Police and firefighters are firing up their efforts to stop the illegal sale of fireworks – after reports of children using them as weapons this week.
Every year officers across the force area visit shops to provide information about the sale of fireworks and the consequences of selling them to children.
In the past illegal fireworks have even been sold on the street, and from residential properties, after being imported from abroad.
These fireworks can be very dangerous in the wrong hands and police are working closely with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to educate the public.
But officers on the ground are also stepping up efforts to crackdown on those breaking the law – and have landed a big seizure in Byker this week.
Neighbourhood officers had received reports of young children lighting fireworks and using them as weapons.
Thankfully nobody was injured but enquiries by police led them to an address on Commerical Road in Byker that they suspected the children had got the fireworks from.
Officers were joined by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to execute a warrant at the property and dozens of fireworks were seized.
The occupant of the address has since been handed a Community Protection Warning Notice that could see him face criminal prosecution if police find him in possession of fireworks.
Neighbourhood Inspector Kirsty Smith, of the Newcastle East NPT, said: "We want to make sure people enjoy fireworks in a safe way and do not put themselves in danger.
“We were horrified to hear about young children lighting fireworks. They could be putting themselves in serious danger, particularly if they are using them as weapons.
“In this instance we have taken swift action to take the fireworks in question off the streets and we will continue to enforce the law in relation to firework sales in the coming weeks.
"We will also be taking action against anyone suspected of selling fireworks on the street or from their homes as a strict licence is required to do so.
"Work is going on in partnership with the Newcastle City Council, Trading Standards and the Fire Service not seize these fireworks but local residents are our eyes and ears in the community.
“If you have any information about illegal sale of fireworks then please contact us on 101 so we can stop anyone from getting hurt."
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) Assistant Chief Fire Office Alan Robson, said: “These fireworks were suspected of being stored and sold from this person’s home which is not only dangerous but illegal.
“Inspectors from our Business Fire Safety team, Northumbria Police and local Trading Standards teams will be conducting joint inspections to ensure the safety of all residents within Tyne and Wear.
“It is illegal to sell fireworks outside of the approved bonfire selling period of the 15th October to 10th November, unless with an annual licence.
“We would like to remind the public to please only buy fireworks from a licenced supplier and those with a CE mark. Any businesses that are selling fireworks must have a valid explosives licence and a safe place to store the fireworks.
“For further information please contact us on 0191 444 1664 or visit our website http://www.twfire.gov.uk/community-safety/business/fireworks-explosive-regulations/#.W79K8HtKj0M.”
Police are working with local partnerships to encourage people to enjoy a safe bonfire night by attending an organised fireworks display in your area.
For information on organised displays in your area then visit your local council website which will publish dates and locations of events.
If you want to report intelligence around illegal fireworks then call 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or fill in an online reporting form at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.