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Police Warn Of Sparkler 'Bomb' Dangers

Police Warn Of Sparkler 'Bomb' Dangers

New Zealand Police Wellington News Release - 25 October 2006

Wellington District Police say people who make 'sparkler bombs' out of fireworks are irresponsible and dangerous.

"We've had heaps of calls in the last few years where sparklers have been used as bombs to blow up letter boxes and rubbish bins," says acting Inspector Alasdair Macmillan, Operational Services Manager, Wellington District Headquarters.

"This mindless vandalism is dangerous and destructive. There's a high potential for injury, and a high cost for householders or business owners in replacing damaged property. If you see someone acting suspiciously with fireworks then please tell us about it.

"Some people think that sparklers are harmless fun and only used for writing names in the air. Sadly that's not the case any more and sparklers are being used for a more explosive purpose."

The ten-day retail period for fireworks starts on Friday. Police are urging people to be careful when lighting fireworks and to only use them for their intended purpose.

Nationally Police attended nearly 1200 fireworks related incidents last year, and firefighters attended over 700 fires.

Inspector Macmillan says people who make sparkler bombs, recklessly use fireworks or injure someone as a result of explosions could face serious charges.

These include arson, attempted arson, intentional damage, carrying or possessing explosives except for lawful, proper or sufficient purpose, and unlawful carriage or possession of explosives in a public place.

"We want people to enjoy themselves but we want them to respect the safety and property of others," Inspector Macmillan says. "The best way to enjoy fireworks is to go to one of the many public displays in the region. They're controlled, safe and spectacular."

For more safety information from Police, the Fire Service, ERMA New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment, go to a special website: www.guyfawkes2006.govt.nz.


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