Publication - Research and analysis

Public attitudes towards fireworks in Scotland: representative omnibus survey

Published: 4 Oct 2019

This report summarises results from an omnibus survey on public attitudes towards fireworks in Scotland.

27 page PDF

651.8 kB

27 page PDF

651.8 kB

Contents
Public attitudes towards fireworks in Scotland: representative omnibus survey
Executive Summary

27 page PDF

651.8 kB

Executive Summary

Background and objectives

The Scottish Government commissioned Progressive to conduct a study on the use and regulation of fireworks in Scotland. The project objectives were to understand the Scottish public’s views on increasing control over the sale of fireworks; banning the sale of fireworks to the public; and introducing more control on how fireworks can be used in Scotland.

Research Method

The research was conducted using Progressive’s Scottish Opinion online omnibus, with a representative sample of the Scottish population. Fieldwork took place between 9th and 14th May 2019. A total sample of 1,002 responses was achieved.

Key findings

Increasing control over the sale of fireworks in Scotland

  • A majority (71%) would welcome an increase in control over the sale of fireworks in Scotland.
  • Some sub-groups in the population were more likely than others to welcome an increase in control over the sale of fireworks.  This includes: women compared with men (79% vs. 63%); people living in Central Scotland, compared to those living in South Scotland (78% vs. 66%); and those living in urban areas, compared to those living in rural areas (74% vs. 62%).  
  • Similarly, some sub-groups of the population were more likely than others to say they would not welcome an increase in control over the sale of fireworks.  In particular, younger respondents (18-24 year olds) were more likely than all other age groups to say they would not welcome greater controls over the sale of fireworks (40% vs 14-21% for other age groups).  However, it is important to note that more young people still indicated they were in favour of more control over the sale of fireworks than those who did not (45% of 18-24 year olds were in favour, compared to 40% of 18-25 year olds who were not).   

Banning the sale of fireworks to the public in Scotland

  • 58% of respondents said they would support banning the sale of fireworks to the public.
  • Women were more likely than men to favour a ban (67% vs. 49% for men).
  • Some sub-groups in the population were more likely than others to say they would not welcome a ban.  This includes: younger respondents aged 18-24 years old compared to those in older age groups (54% vs. 30% for those aged 25 years or older); and those living in rural areas of Scotland compared to those living in urban areas (43% vs. 31% for urban). However, it is again important to note that more rural respondents were in favour of a ban on the sale of fireworks than those who were not (51% of rural respondents were in favour, compared to 43% of rural respondents who were not).
  • Respondents who would welcome a ban highlighted the potential risk of serious injury posed by fireworks, animal safety, and noise/disturbance; while those who would not welcome a ban commented that a ban would infringe on the public’s freedom, fireworks provide a lot of fun/joy for many, and most are responsible/few are not.

More control on how fireworks can be used in Scotland

  • A majority (68%) said there should be more control on how fireworks can be used in Scotland. 
  • As previously, some sub-groups of the population were more supportive of more control over the use of fireworks than others. This includes: women compared with men (75% vs. 59% of men); respondents in the lower C2DE socio-economic group compared with the more affluent ABC1’s (71% vs. 65% for ABC1); and respondents living in urban areas compared to those in rural areas (71% vs. 55% for rural).
  • Those who would welcome more control on how fireworks can be used mentioned the risk of danger/injury, animal welfare, and noise/disturbances; while those who would not support greater controls believed the status quo is ok, more control would infringe on the public’s freedom, and there should be more focus on policing current laws.

Contact

Email: Socialresearch@gov.scot