Police seize 14 tonnes of illegal fireworks so far this year

Pengzhou, China: Displays of Chinese Lunar New Year fireworks are commonplace in the days preceeding the holiday

Police and customs officials have seized over 14,000 kilos of illegal fireworks so far in the run up to the New Year celebrations, according to public prosecution department figures.

This is well down on last year, when the total by early December had reached 32,000 kilos. Officials say the drop is probably due to a later start to the illegal trade and the fact some fireworks have been taken off the banned list.

However, police have seized ‘considerably’ more postal packages containing illegal fireworks than this time last year.

Pressure is mounting in the Netherlands for a complete ban on the sale of fireworks to consumers. Currently, their sale is restricted to December 30 and 31.

However, a survey by broadcaster NOS last month found three quarters of Dutch councils will not introduce extra measures to restrict the use of fireworks during the New Year celebrations.

Out of the 264 councils that took part in the survey, 55 said they would create a fireworks-free zone, primarily around nursing homes, hospitals, petting zoos and shopping centres.

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