Police and Trading Standards officers have warned members of the public not to buy or use potentially unsafe fireworks which have been offered for sale in Leicester.
Enquiries have revealed the “Whistling Missile” and “Flying Eagle” rockets are between eight and ten years old, as they are no longer being distributed in this country.
The distributor has told police that fireworks this old are potentially unstable and should not be used.
The fireworks are believed to have been sold from the back of a van on Leicester’s Braunstone estate.
Detective Constable Del Gillespie is a member of the Arson Task Force, a unit run jointly by Leicestershire Constabulary and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.
“We have spoken to the distributor, who said they have not sold these fireworks for the past eight to ten years. They had a couple of burglaries while they sold them, and they could have been taken then.
“They told us they could be unstable, and could be unsafe.”
DC Gillespie urged members of the public not to buy the fireworks. If they have bought some, they should not ignite them.
DC Gillespie added:
“I would urge anyone who knows who has been selling these fireworks to contact us as soon as possible – we would like to stop them before someone is injured.
“Alternatively, you can pass information in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 .”
John Fox, Trading Standards Manager for the City Council said: “We urge everyone to buy their fireworks only from shops. We licence all fireworks shops in the city and inspect them to ensure that storage and the fireworks themselves are safe. It is illegal to sell from any vehicle or in the street so if you do see this please notify us immediately through Crimestoppers or Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 .”