Give police powers to stop, search & seize certain fireworks

Give police powers to stop, search & seize certain fireworks

The Bill would give police more powers to stop and search people and seize CAT F2 and F3 fireworks. If a police constable had reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed or is committing an offence, the constable may— (a) search that person without warrant, and detain the person for such time as is reasonably required to permit the search to be carried out, (b) stop and search a vehicle (and anything on or in it) without warrant, (c) seize and retain any item found in the course of a search which may be relevant to the suspected offence. If you agree with this proposal, rate it up (👍), if you disagree, rate it down (👎). Please tell us why you agree or disagree using the comment boxes below. Image Credit: Douglas Sinclair, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


the amount of kids hanging around parks at 2 -3 in the morning setting fireworks off is again out of control. If the police can stop that, then all the better.

Police have too much to do already

It amounts to a blatent stop and search power and we have seen how badly that worked out

Public safety paramount

Fireworks cause so much distress to people, animals etc.

Fireworks are weapons and should not be in the hands of the public

People who have nothing to hide shouldn’t worry and for those who say the police have enough to do obviously don’t think fireworks being launched at people and through letterboxes a serious crime🤔

fireworks are dangerous and used irresponsibly by many. Giving police more power to seize explosives can only be positive.

I agree with this point, but feel the police are an easy target and could get fireworks thrown at them. I do however feel that if there is such a deterrent it is one step forward in making streets safer.

great idea but do the police have the time and manpower to enforce the current regulations?

This is needed to stop under age

Don't want to give the police more excuses to throw their weight around. Stop and search always leads to racial profiling. Think the police should respond to leads and investigate reports rather than waste time with random stops.

Perfectly reasonable

Any possession of fireworks by members of the public should be outlawed

More restrictions on fireworks, the better. They are animal abuse.

Only if this is not abused and used as an excuse to stop and interfere with folk going about their own business.

It is an obvious necessity of making the purchase or possession of fireworks or pyrotechnics the subject of a licence

As long as there is sufficient reason to suspect that fireworks are being carried illegally, indiscriminate stop and search is not ok either.

Law isn't much use without effective enforcement.

I don't like indiscrimate stop and search powers

I'm almost certain they already have this power, but also, it's a slippery slope with a blanket wording like this.

Fireworks are frequently used for anti. Social behaviour and to attack emergency services when they are trying to do their jobs. It is entirely reasonable for the police to be able to stop and search where this type of firework misuse is suspected

Basic requirement against any type of criminal activity.

I’m in two minds about this! I agree with it if the police can be trusted to fulfil their duties sensibly in this respect but I’m concerned that it could become an excuse rather than a reason to stop and search. (My apologies to those police who would use this power responsibly, and I’m sure there are a great many.) On the face of it, it is sensible that police have the powers they need to enforce the law. Surely they already have the power to s & s if they think a crime has been committed?

I think it has to go beyond basic stop and search and there needs to be a clearer idea of exactly what other powers, including stop and search, the police are going to be given to tackle this. So, for example, if you are going down the route of licensed public displays only and the police find an unlicensed display taking place using black market fireworks are they going to shut it down? How will they do that? Who will be held responsible? Needs a lot more detail of all the powers they need.

I agree with this otherwise you won't deter people from trying to illegally use fireworks. This has to be policed and police given the appropriate powers to stop this continuous abuse of fireworks.

Not needed to enjoy or celebrate the event and bad for local animals, people and the environment.

I agree because there is a need to catch stupid people about to do stupid things but there does need to be a balance and I am worried about controls on police behaviour

Absolutely right. It is to protect the law and people isn't it?

Quite simply, fireworks are as dangerous as knives or other weapons. The hands of the police should not be tied in enforcing the law

A law without suitable enforcement measures is useless.

Anything which would help reduce the use of fireworks is good

Powers to enforce the rules are clearly necessary.

although I do not believe the police force should be even more stretched than it is, there has to be some control from the more violent element within our society.

If they were totally banned this power would not be needed and would let them get on with more important things.

legal powers give the opportunity to remove fireworks however I'm concerned that the police have insufficient capacity to undertake such searches

Potentially, I support this, but only if great care is taken in how you define "reasonable grounds" (& how you train/enforce this within the police force), since stop & search powers are often abused, both intentionally & unconsciously by those with irrational bias against certain subgroups of the population.

If rules and controls are introduced they need to be enforced.

However, I assumed that on grounds of public safety and in relation to any perceived criminal activity, police already had these powers. Also, does Scotland have sufficient police numbers to be effective in this regard?

Providing it is effectively used and enforced, it can act to deter anti- social use.

it's not ideal as certain groups seem to be targetted on stop and search but if it is felt absolutely necessary then I am reluctantly in favour

The Bill should have some 'teeth'

if you remove the word 'fireworks' this is a just a 'stop and search' power. Similar orders have been poorly used and abused in the past.

absolutely! no point in making something illegal if the police can't enforce it

It is part of the enforcement of the new laws, and education of people using fireworks. It's being done to keep people safe.

we need to limit the use of fireworks as a way of maintaining the non human species that we haven't yet sent into extinction.

Gives the police the "teeth" they need to enforce the law.

should prevent dangerous misuse

It is not necessary to have this law if fireworks are not sold. That is best solution.

If there is legislation there must be a serious intent for reasonable and appropriate steps for enforcement. In practical terms this is likely to be through the police.

The answer is obvious.

If you have permission to have fireworks then there's nothing to worry about

Although I think that stop & search powers are mainly discriminated against some people I do agree with this one as the police must enforce this law

its about time animals and humans were protected from the damage these fireworks do. The noise from these fireworks is unbelievable. Animals have more sensitive hearing than humans so God knows what they feel when they hear them. I feel the sound goes right through me so I can't understand what they go through.


Michelle "It will allow police to react where they fireworks are being used dangerously." What is stopping the police reacting now? They already have the power to do so in the situation you describe.

Vikk "Again, fireworks in the wrong hands could be deadly" Yet there have been no deaths from these 'deadly' fireworks this century. Dogs, on the other hand, have killed dozens and maimed tens of thousands.

Lioness1forcreatures "we need to limit the use of fireworks as a way of maintaining the non human species that we haven't yet sent into extinction." Fireworks have been enjoyed by the public for over 100 years. Can you name one species of animal that has become extinct as a result?

Lizzie "the amount of kids hanging around parks at 2 -3 in the morning setting fireworks off is again out of control. If the police can stop that, then all the better." The police have all the powers needed to stop such anti social use already.

Anonymous User "Fireworks are weapons and should not be in the hands of the public" Dogs are 'deadly weapons' and injure and kill far more people and other animals than fireworks ever will.


There are always people who will disregard laws or other peoples concerns

The police do not require additional stop and search powers. Experience and research shows which members/sectors of the public predominantly get targeted. Will members of the public crossing the border into Scotland be subject to random spot checks to ensure they are not carrying fireworks? The police should never be given unwarranted stop and search powers.

This is a significant offence with safety implications, as well as animal welfare implications

Disagree police have better things to do

Stop and search was not supported by those taking part but there was agreement that the police should be able to confiscate fireworks if any concerns have been raised. (Erskine Session 3rd March)

Enforce the law properly

If public purchase & use fireworks is banned (as it should be), they will be classed as an offensive weapon like a knife or a firearm. Police already rightly have powers to stop & search for such items.

The Police already have too many stop & search powers. I don't like fireworks but I dislike the slide towards a police state even more. I want to live in 2022 not 1984.

Its an over reach of the stop and search without warrent and will lead to abuse and discrimination along with profiling and look what a mess thats gotten us so far

Absolutely - the Police definitely need the power to do this.

The police have better things do do than this.

Isn't Current law Sufficient regarding this ? Current law is already NOT Enforced sufficiently.

This would give the police more opportunity to keep society safe.

It is too easy for people to claim infringement of civil liberties for carrying any item that can do harm to others whether intentional or otherwise. Fireworks are explosives and as such should have greater controls.

I welcome the idea and all fireworks should be seized and banned!

Police need to be able to enforce laws and if they can’t stop and search then people can symply ignore laws

Laws need to be enforced, and these seem reasonably methods provided the grounds are reasonable and police are not biased.

If it is illegal for people to possess fireworks without a licence, the existing police powers will be enough to handle this. I am concerned that if there is more individual discretion for police officers to stop and search people, there is more scope for discrimination.

The police should be better funded so that they have the resources to enforce existing laws better, because people are breaking current firework laws all the time and the police are seemingly doing nothing about it. More powers won't change this, only create more opportunity for abuse of power.

Public should not have them in the first place

it seems entirely sensible; if you have a law, it has to be enforced.

They should be illegal as far too dangerous

It's over reach - it's already illegal to bring flares into a stadium but they do, so let's make it double illegal, - the police don't have time

Police should never have unwarranted stop and search powers.

Where does this end? The police have enough, more important, things too do.

No need for new laws the police just need to enforce the existing ones which seem more than adequate.

Current laws are sufficient and just require enforcement

There is no need to be walking around with explosives in your pocket.

It allows the police to enforce the legislation

It will allow police to react where they fireworks are being used dangerously.

For safety reasons

The police can already have this power under existing laws. Putting it here like this is just for effect.

Again, fireworks in the wrong hands could be deadly

Too much power in an already corrupt system.

Julie Doorne "There is no need to be walking around with explosives in your pocket." Modern fireworks simply do not fit in pockets. 'Nuisance' fireworks such as bangers and air bombs (which did fit in pockets) have long since been banned. You people will never be happy until you suck all the fun and enjoyment out of life for everyone else.

Danger of death or injury is only a small part of the problem with fireworks, flares etc. Main issue for many is noise, which happens many nights (or daylight hours) and totally unpredictable. Uk didn’t have a ‘tradition” of setting off huge noisy disruptive fireworks 52 wks a year. Used to be a tradition of public/small private displays on 5 Nov. Then 1 Jan was added. Then other cultures added their dates. Too much noise now, can’t predict when sleep + animals, babies etc will be disturbed.

No point having legislation if it's not enforceable

Not a fan of stop and search as it can be bias against certain groups, but if there is genuine cause to suspect a person has dangerous items and have potential for malignant intent then yes.

Current laws are fine, the police just need to enforce them better.

This is the key the police already have great power. They just need to enforce it and not stop law abiding people (the majority) enjoying and buying fireworks.

"If a police constable had reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed or is committing an offence, the constable may", so what is the offence, possession of fireworks? Is the plan to have police at the border with England randomly stopping cars! Seriously!

there are so many people who think it is a laugh to throw fireworks at people/animals so if they suspect someone is carrying these with that intent then it is a good idea.

If they have reasonable grounds for suspecting this, they should be able to stop and search. I have nothing against organised displays, just random numpties not caring for how others feel.

The are an explosive device whice is reported how many times being used aa a weopon and so should be treated as one! Totally agree.

In the last year it appears that industrial strength fireworks are in the hands of the public. The more power to stop these being circulated would be welcome

It seems to give police powers to stop and search almost everyone.

Stop and search is always a controversial power. I am not sure it is relevant to fireworks.

Anonymous User "In the last year it appears that industrial strength fireworks are in the hands of the public. The more power to stop these being circulated would be welcome" I have no idea what an 'industrial strength' firework is. The law on what may be sold has not changed for many years so you must be witnessing illegal fireworks. A ban or restriction will only see this situation get far worse.

Yes. Fireworks are weapons just like knives, guns, baseball bats etc. if fireworks were restricted to organised events (ideally on very restricted number of days a year) there’d be no reason for people to have them unless for illegal use. Too many get set off in the street, either to make noise, or aim at other people, but realistically, by time police arrive, every one has run off.

"If a police constable had reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed or is committing an offence, the constable may" Isn't that already how it works regardless of fireworks being involved? Seems like a very wide open clause that won't affect fireworks use at all.

What a waste of resources. You'll miss some. Hassle some based on race or who 'fits' the profile. Fireworks are used by anyone and nearly everyone. Again, not really sensible or a good use of police time.

jul "They should be illegal as far too dangerous" For every one NHS admission from firework injuries there are 60 from dog attacks. Should dogs be made illegal using your argument?

Back to group

This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation

Your Priorities on GitHub

Check out the Citizens Foundation website for more information