Dispersal order issued in Stoke-on-Trent ahead of Bonfire Night

Staffordshire Police will be out and about throughout the weekend, working with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, to reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB) and promote fire safety.

In recent weeks, officers have been visiting schools with partners to share safety advice on bonfires, fireworks and ASB to ensure young people enjoy the autumn period responsibly and are aware of the potential dangers and how to avoid them.

A dispersal order has also been put in place to cover Shelton, Cliffe Vale and areas of Etruria. The order, granted under section 34 of the Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, gives officers the power to disperse anyone for the purpose of or reducing the likelihood of members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed, distressed or the occurrence of crime and disorder.

Failing to comply with an order is a criminal offence and officers can return anyone under the age of 16 to their home address. They can issue the notices for a period of up to 48 hours and anyone found breaching a notice is liable to be arrested and face further action.

The order will begin at 5pm today (Friday 4th November 2022).

Inspector Mark Burslem, Deputy Commander for Stoke South Local Policing Team, said: “We know the majority of people enjoy this time of year sensibly and we are not out to spoil their fun but, unfortunately, there is a minority who are intent on causing problems and use the period as an excuse to commit crime and act anti-socially.

“Alongside partners, we want to work with our communities to ensure that celebrations are safe and enjoyable for all.”

We are also asking the public to be aware of the consequences of fireworks misuse and deliberate fire-setting.

Inspector Hayley Eaton, Deputy Commander for Stoke North Local Policing Team, added: “Used irresponsibly, fireworks can cause damage to property and do significant harm to people and animals. Not only is there a danger from fireworks exploding, they can also pose a serious fire risk as well.

“We’d always suggest going to a pre-planned, organised display if you’d like to see fireworks or bonfire, of which there are a number to choose from throughout the county.”

Remember it’s an offence to:

– Sell adult fireworks to anyone under 18

– Have ‘adult’ fireworks in a public place if you are under 18 (Adult fireworks are category 2 and 3 fireworks)

– Have fireworks meant for a professional display

– Let off fireworks after 11pm and before 7am, except on Bonfire Night (allowed up to midnight), New Year’s Eve, Diwali and the Chinese New Year (all allowed up to 1am).

You can be fined and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally.

Demand on emergency services rise significantly during this time of the year. To help Staffordshire Police keep their lines free for those who need them most, please ensure you’re contacting the most relevant agency and using the most appropriate means of contact.

For more information please visit: Report | Staffordshire Police

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