As Chair of the Fireworks Review Group, I am delighted to present our final report.
The Group was established by the Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, in 2019 following a public consultation on fireworks: Your experiences, your Ideas, your views.
Results from the consultation clearly showed that the majority of respondents strongly supported action to be taken to prevent the fear, alarm and damage that fireworks can cause, while at the same time enabling the safe enjoyment of fireworks to continue, particularly for organised public displays.
Ms Denham asked the Group to consider options and to develop clear recommendations for tightening regulations on fireworks in Scotland.
The Group brought together key organisations with a direct interest in fireworks, including representatives from the fireworks industry, NHS, animal welfare, the emergency services and local government, as well as community representatives.
Working collaboratively, the Group developed their recommendations by considering a number of potential changes against the available empirical evidence from across Scotland and internationally. This evidence was both quantitative and qualitative, in the form of the available management information and case studies.
What is clear from the evidence is that there is no single tightening of regulation that will bring about the desired benefits. Therefore the Group has recommended that any approach to changes in regulation should be set alongside other actions. These include, but are not limited to, awareness raising campaigns and the facilitation of organised public events. We believe that, in this way, the desired cultural change and the prevention of unwanted unintended consequences are most likely to be achieved.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the Working Group for their hard work and perseverance. Particularly given the background of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and the draw on people's time and expertise that this understandably brought about.