Bang out of order: ASBOs could cut down fireworks menace

ALLIANCE Assembly member Kieran McCarthy (Strangford) has said that Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) should be used if fireworks prove to be a nuisance again this year.

Mr McCarthy, who proposed a motion in the Assembly in 2001 dealing with fireworks misuse and control, said that while regulations introduced afterwards had reduced misuse, ASBOs could be used to deter those who continue to cause distress to the vulnerable and people’s pets.

Mr McCarthy said: “The elderly have suffered especially, and I believe that the requirement for a licence for garden fireworks and a police crackdown has helped alleviate their suffering by making fireworks harder to obtain. However, there are some persistent elements who are bang out of order and continue to cause misery every Hallowe’en.

“Additionally, the problem of illegal bangers being hawked around the stalls and doorsteps of Northern Ireland remains. That is not just a responsibility for the PSNI and Customs officials, but parents and children too. Illegal fireworks are not only dangerous to those they are directed against, but also to everyone who handles them.

“Parents have a responsibility to ensure children do not purchase fireworks of any description, and only use them under supervision. Should problems continue, ASBOs should be considered as a deterrent to this annual annoyance.

“Alliance pressed the Government hard for ASBOs, and where there is evidence of persistent anti-social behaviour, they should be seriously considered.”

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