South East Wales

Commercial grade fireworks used in Pill disorder, police say

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Media captionFootage on social media showed the disorder in Pill, Newport

Commercial grade fireworks have been used during large-scale disorder in Newport, police have said.

Some residents said they will leave their homes during Halloween and Bonfire night due to the trouble.

Eight people, including two 13-year-old boys, have been charged following the disorder in the Pill area of the city last week.

Newport West AM Jayne Bryant has called for the Welsh Government to be given more powers to regulate firework sales.

Police across Wales said there was an annual increase in anti-social behaviour around Bonfire night and Halloween.

Gwent Police Supt Glyn Fernquest said he believed the fireworks were being brought from the internet.

"We've got 30 retailers with a very strict licence, they can't sell to anybody under 18 and I don't believe they're coming from there," he said.

"We're not talking about the stuff in your back garden, these are almost of a commercial display quality, and it's a worrying trend."

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The Welsh Ambulance Service said it has had to abandon some depots this year because of firework-related incidents.

Tony Crandon, acting head of ambulance operations for the Aneurin Bevan health board area, said: "I don't think I can emphasise how surprised or shocked I am, because I've got considerable years service in the ambulance service and I've never heard of anything like it before.

"One of the guys who had experience in the military likened it to coming under fire."

Vandalism

One Pill resident said she was "terrified" of what might happen on Bonfire and Halloween, and that she intends to stay away from the area.

Cardiff Bus has previously had to divert services through parts of the city to avoid vandalism over those nights.

Ms Bryant is now calling for the Welsh Government to be able to make laws around the sale of fireworks.

"I'll also be looking to see if any amendments can be made to the Wales Bill to see if those powers will be coming to Wales in the future," she added.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Fireworks are regulated by a wide range of legislation including health and safety, consumer protection, product safety, explosives regulation, etc - in general these are UK-wide frameworks.

"We would need to look carefully at a detailed proposal for Welsh legislation in this area in order to reach a view on whether it fell within the assembly's legislative powers."