Illegal firework warning

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RESIDENTS are being urged to be on the lookout for illegal fireworks after it was found that banned bangers were being used.

Trading Standards bosses said the Black Cat fireworks – a legal brand – are believed to be counterfeit and have been banned since 1997.

Officers at Durham County Council and police were tipped off about the batch after residents in the county complained children were letting them off in the streets.

Investigations to uncover the source are continuing, but Trading Standards officers have found that these products are becoming increasingly available through unlicensed sellers, some of which are using social networks such as Facebook to bypass strict controls on storage and supply.

Anyone who stores fireworks to then sell on, must be licensed with the local authority and if they are sold outside of normal periods, a further licence to sell is required.

It is also illegal to supply adult fireworks to under 18s.

People can report any sales of illegal fireworks by calling Trading Standards on 03000 261016 or email tradingstandards@durham.gov.uk.