Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Articles (Scotland) Bill: fairer Scotland duty assessment

A Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment (FSDA for the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill.

Stage 3 – Assessment and Improvement

9. What options could strengthen this programme/policy/decision in terms of its impacts on inequalities of outcome?

The policy will be implemented alongside the range of other preventative work. This includes, as part of the Scottish Government Fireworks Action Plan, a module on fireworks safety. This has been incorporated into the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland Youth Volunteers schemes.

A Fireworks Rules and Regulations Campaign was launched ahead of bonfire night in 2019, 2020 and 2021, in partnership with Fearless, the Youth arm of Crimestoppers Charity targeting young people aged 11-16 years. The campaign focussed on improving awareness and understanding of the existing rules and regulations and improving understanding of how and when to report the misuse of fireworks.

In addition, a nationwide annual fireworks communication campaigns was also run in 2019, 2020 and 2021 to improve people's awareness and understanding of the impact that fireworks can have on people, specifically highlighting those with autism and sensory issues. Point of sale firework safety material for consumers distributed through local authority Trading Standards has also been circulated in 2020 and 2021.

It is intended these campaigns will continue in future years and will be updated and refined to reflect changes to the legislation introduced by the proposed Bill to maximise the benefits of the changes and to minimise non-compliance.

10. What are the pros and cons of these options?

The proposed Bill builds on the legislative change introduced through the recent firework regulations that came fully into force in June 2021. A package of measures that combines non-legislative actions and new legislation to tighten the regulations around the supply and safe use of fireworks will support the long term, cultural shift that is required to reduce the negative impacts on individuals and communities in Scotland.

While the changes proposed by the Bill will introduce greater demands and requirements on those supplying and purchasing fireworks, and have the potential to impact on a small number of specialist firework retailers in Scotland, it is assessed that the benefits anticipated by the proposed Bill, including the wider cultural change that will be achieved, justifies the proposed interventions.

11. How could the programme/policy/decision be adjusted to address inequalities associated with particular groups? Particular communities of interest or communities of place who are more at risk of inequalities of outcome?

The package of measures included within the proposed Bill has been developed following completion of a range of impact assessments to ensure that the policy balances the needs of individuals and communities across Scotland. Evidence and analysis from the consultations in 2019 and 2021, and related analytical work, which found that groups most likely to be positively affected from the changes proposed include:

  • Autistic people and people suffering from PTSD who are more sensitive to loud bangs and flashes
  • Pregnant women who are more sensitive to loud bangs during their pregnacy.
  • Children and young people who are more likely to be harmed, or to cause harm by fireworks.
  • Men who are more likely to be harmed, or to cause harm by fireworks.

The consultation and evidence gathering process ensured the evidence available in relation to, and experiences of, those from different socio-economic groups was an integral part of the policy development process. This included consultation events in communities across Scotland, including in deprived communities. Evidence gathering included consideration of the impact of fireworks on those from different socio-economic groups and data, where possible, has been disaggregated accordingly – for example, the Evaluation of Firework related harm study; and representative omnibus survey, both outlined above.

The proposed policies in relation to the use of fireworks outside of permitted days and within any designated firework control zones will enable members of the public to arrange for a professional to organise and put on a display outside of permitted days or within any designated firework control zone. This will mean those who have the ability to pay to engage a professional firework organiser will be in a position to use fireworks outside of permitted days as well as within any designated control zones, while those who do not will be unable to. It is considered that this represents a balance between allowing certain fireworks events to continue and reducing the impact on the businesses involved, while preventing high levels of unpredictable firework use outside of organised events and those involving professionals



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