Teenagers are being deployed across Hounslow to catch shopkeepers selling fireworks to under 18s as Diwali and Bonfire Night approach.

Council officials, firefighters and police are educating traders on how sell, display and store fireworks responsibly as part of Firework Watch, and are even asking them to think twice about selling eggs, flour and matches to youngsters as trick-or-treat time looms.

Shopkeepers face fines fines of up to £5,000 and six months in jail if they are caught by the undercover team making 'test' purchases.
 
Anti-social yobs will also be a target and face fines fines of up to £5,000 and six months in jail get for letting fireworks off in public or using them to damage property. 
 
Cllr Phil Andrews, lead member for community safety, said: “It should be an enjoyable time of year, however, neighbourhoods can find themselves plagued by noise, criminal damage to property and general nuisance caused by this misuse.
 
“Fireworks used incorrectly can also cause injury and fatality. Over 1000 people every year are injured across Britain in incidents involving fireworks and the majority of these are children or young people." 
 
Coordinator of this year’s Firework Watch, PC Clive Atkinson of Hounslow Police, said: “Many local residents dread this time of year, which is used by some people to cause havoc on the streets.
 
“This borough wide multiagency approach is an opportunity to work and educate with shopkeepers and young people about the consequences of firework misuse and anti social behaviour over the Diwali and Bonfire Night season.” 

Extra police will patrol streets and parks. If you see any incidents in your area please contact Safer Neighbourhood on 0300 123 1212.