A consultation on the use of fireworks will be launched early next year, ministers have announced.
Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said the consultation would seek to improve understanding of the use and regulation of fireworks in Scotland in 2018.
Fireworks are often associated with celebration and can be a route for bringing communities together but if used inappropriately or without respect for others fireworks can cause distress or even physical injury to people and animals. The consultation will look to inform any actions that the Scottish Government could take to reduce the negative impact of firework use.
Actions could include increased restrictions on where and when fireworks can be used; improved access to advice and support to reduce the anti-social impact of fireworks; and new national guidance to support local partner agencies.
Evidence will also influence Ms Denham’s ongoing discussions with UK Government about legislation governing the sale of fireworks, which is currently reserved.
Ms Denham said:
Many people enjoy attending fireworks displays but I am very aware from conversations with members of the public and emergency service workers that there is growing concern about the use and sale of fireworks to individuals.
The hard work of the police and fire services to tackle dangerous and anti-social behaviour helped to reduce the number of bonfire night incidents this year. However, there were still a number of concerning reports and I am keen to hear the public’s views on the impact of fireworks and action we could take to improve the situation further. As much of the legislation on fireworks is currently reserved we will also continue to engage with the UK Government.
Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Director of Prevention and Protection, said:
Our Service welcomes any wider public debate around matters of safety, which includes fire, and in particular the use of fireworks.
We therefore also welcome this consultation which will allow a breadth of opinion and considerations to be gathered.