Warning after young man loses thumb in fireworks incident

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DUNGANNON police have revealed that a young man from the area has lost a thumb due to a fireworks incident, in a warning to others that they will be undertaking a “proactive strategy” during the Hallowe’en period.

Officers across the ‘F District’ - which also includes Cookstown - say they will be putting in place a high visibility patrolling strategy for this weekend.

Attention will be paid to locations where problems had arisen before, according to a PSNI spokesperson.

Chief Inspector Jane Humphries said a proactive policing strategy had been put in place to tackle fireworks abuses.

“Last year, across F District we seized almost 5,000 fireworks in the weeks up to Hallowe’en and on the night itself. Already this year we have made a number of seizures.”

She encouraged local people to report incidents and concerns over the illegal trade in fireworks to police.

“We have been visiting schools, shops and licensed firework retailers to remind them of the legislation and to encourage them to put their communities first.

“When we detect offences, we will look at our range of disposals, and that includes prosecution. When we seize fireworks from young people, we will write to their parents advising them of the situation.

“Hallowe’en is supposed to be a fun occasion and not an excuse for lawlessness. Please consider residents who are infirm, elderly and vulnerable and behave in a manner which will not leave them feeling intimidated in their own homes and afraid to go out.”

Chief Inspector Humphries added: “Hallowe’en is becoming one of the busiest times of the year for the police service. This year we are making it clear that anyone caught breaking the law will be dealt with robustly.

“It is possible to celebrate safely, but that does not include letting off bangers or throwing fireworks at individuals or vehicles.

“Already in Dungannon this year, a young man lost part of a thumb in a fireworks incident. We do not want to see any more injuries.”