Months in prison for illegal fireworks

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Dutch justice authorities plan to get tough with people involved with homemade and other illegal fireworks. Instead of community service orders, they are set to get prison sentences.

In Holland, fireworks are hugely popular at New Year’s celebrations. Most are set off by private individuals rather than as part of communal firework displays.

The justice ministry, police and consumer safety agency have set up a taskforce to track down people involved in the manufacture of firework bombs and other illegal fireworks.

The taskforce will comb Youtube where producers of illegal fireworks display what they have on offer. The makers will be warned about the new tough sentencing policy and told to remove their film clips. If they fail to do so, the police and prosecution authorities will become involved.

Serous injuries The number of people seriously injured by fireworks in the Netherlands is on the increase. Last New Year, hospital admissions resulting from firework injuries hit record levels. Homemade ‘bombs’ and other illegal fireworks were responsible for 21 percent of the 710 firework injuries dealt with by accident and emergency departments around the New Year.

Under Dutch law, members of the public are only allowed to set off fireworks on New Year's Eve and during the early hours of New Year's Day, otherwise special permission is required. Fireworks may only be sold by licensed businesses to adults during the period immediately preceding the New Year.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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