Undercover kids attempt to buy fireworks in Telford shops

Four stores across Telford and Wrekin were visited as part of a ‘test purchase’ operation this week, with only one store failing the check.

Undercover kids attempt to buy fireworks in Telford shops

The joint operation with Telford & Wrekin Council, saw police cadets aged under 16, working closely with West Mercia Police, attempting to buy fireworks despite being under the legal age. 

Councillor Richard Overton (Labour) Deputy Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council and Cabinet Member for Homes and Enforcement said: “We we’re pleased to see that most stores performed well in the operation and confidently refused to sell fireworks to underage children. 

“Fireworks in the wrong hands can be fatal and anti-social behaviour can cause fear in communities. We want to make sure residents live in a cleaner, greener and safer borough and we’ll continue to work in partnership to achieve this wherever we can and make sure people can celebrate safely.” 

Sergeant Neil Vaughan said: “We’re pleased to see this outcome, reckless or inexperienced use of fireworks causes fear amongst communities, not to mention the potential harm to the person/people using them. 

“Exercises like this are reassuring, working with retailers we are reducing the opportunity for anti-social behaviour but also potential harm to young people. Our cadets were invaluable in the operation and are to be commended on their professionalism with this exercise.” 

The store that failed is now under investigation with Trading Standards to ensure robust measures are in place, allowing staff to challenge the sale underage products to children. 

These exercises are regularly carried out as part of the police and council’s work to reduce anti-social behaviour. 

Councillor Overton added: “Don’t forget it is illegal to buy and possess fireworks if you are under-18 and it is illegal for anyone to set off or throw fireworks in any public place.”

To report the sale of fireworks to children, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or visit their website.