Police have issued a warning to young people and parents following numerous dangerous firework use incidents on Halloween.
The warning comes after police received around 160 calls between 3pm on Halloween and 3am the following morning.
Most of the calls related to fireworks being used inappropriately by young people, including incidents of people throwing fireworks at police officers, members of the public, vehicles and buildings.
Calls were received from across the Thames Valley Police force area, with the Reading, Aylesbury Vale and High Wycombe areas seeing a larger number of reported incidents.
Noteworthy local incidents saw a firework thrown at a member of the public in the Castlefield area of High Wycombe which charred their clothing, fireworks being thrown at officers as they responded to reports of anti-social behaviour in the Berryfields area of Aylesbury and fireworks were aimed at shops in Tilehurst, causing customers to have to stay in the stores.
Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List criticised the behaviour as dangerous. He said, “Behaviour such as this is totally unacceptable, irresponsible and dangerous. The time that officers spend dealing with these incidents is completely avoidable and would be far better spent elsewhere.
“It seems that last night, throwing fireworks and setting them off inappropriately was seen by many as ‘a bit of fun.’ Let me be clear, this is not entertaining, this is criminal behaviour that we take incredibly seriously. If you are caught doing this, you can expect to face criminal proceedings.
“Fireworks can cause serious, lasting damage to people and property.
“As we approach Bonfire Night, I want to remind the public that it is illegal for a person under 18 to possess an adult firework in a public place. This excludes sparklers, caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throw downs.
“If you have fireworks in your home, please ensure that these cannot be accessed by your children and in any case, remind them of the serious consequences that these items can have when used inappropriately.”