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Council warns of illegal fireworks ahead of bonfire night
UNDERCOVER spot checks on fireworks and alcohol retailers in Crewe will be in operation during the lead up to Bonfire Night.
Meanwhile, residents should beware of counterfeit bangers using the Black Cat brand that are known to be in circulation in the area.
Bangers - small red tubes with a short fuse on top - have been banned in the UK since 1997 but have been found on sale in packs of ten throughout Crewe and Cheshire East.
Cheshire East Council’s (CEC) trading standards officers are working with underage volunteers to flush out anyone selling items illegally.
Councillor Les Gilbert, cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “Retailers are advised they should be diligent in determining the age of purchasers and proof of age should always be asked for.
“Penalties for selling to underage people can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000. A prison sentence of up to six months also cannot be ruled out.
“I would also urge businesses to be aware of proxy buying, where a person over 18 buys alcohol for someone underage.
“Please be extra vigilant that this could be taking place right outside your store. It is also an offence to ‘proxy purchase’ and those doing so will be punished.”
Fireworks test purchases, carried out by CEC on 32 premises last year yielded a clean bill of health for retailers.
However, some stores were found to be selling alcohol to underage persons.
Meanwhile, residents are being warned to be wary of counterfeit fireworks and not to buy goods from the back of a van, car boot sales or unlicensed premises.
Anyone who suspects someone of selling illegal or counterfeit fireworks should call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.
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