Banger ‘prank’ could have gone tragically wrong

Police in Ballymena confirmed that they had received a report of youths in school uniforms throwing fireworks in the Galgorm Road area on Wednesday morning.  Picture: Google Maps
Police in Ballymena confirmed that they had received a report of youths in school uniforms throwing fireworks in the Galgorm Road area on Wednesday morning. Picture: Google Maps

Calls have been made for more to be done to tackle the ongoing issue of schoolchildren throwing fireworks in the vicinity of Ballymena Bus and Rail Station.

One mum took to Facebook after the latest incident on Wednesday morning, and in her public post - which has so far received over 790 shares - detailed that a child narrowly missed serious injury after a lit firework was placed in his blazer pocket.

She explained that the child managed to remove it and throw it away, seconds before it went off.

“I dread to think what would have happened if it had gone off in his pocket and also if it had struck another person,” she said.

She added: “These are secondary school kids I’m talking about here, they should have more sense.”

Her post led to others commenting on similar incidents occurring at the bus station in recent times.

Police in Ballymena confirmed that they had received a report of youths in school uniforms throwing fireworks in the Galgorm Road area on Wednesday morning.

And in the wake of the huge outpourings on social media on the subject, police confirmed they had an increased presence at the station on Thursday morning.

Inspector Michael Simpson said: “I have seen numerous reports on social media in relation to the possession and misuse of fireworks at the bus station on Galgorm Road.

“Let me also reassure you that police are taking this seriously have have assigned resources to deal with it. Today [Thursda] you will have seen an increased police footprint in direct response to your comments.

“Based on your reports police have carried out a number of stop and searches and are now following a definite line of enquiry to progress this investigation.

“I would appeal to all parents of children who use the bus station to talk to your children about not only the dangers of fireworks but also the consequences of potentially getting a criminal record if caught.”

Insp. Simpson added: “It is important to remember that fireworks are made from explosive material and if misused, can cause serious and life changing injuries.

“The law clearly states that fireworks - except indoor fireworks and sparklers - must be bought from reputable, licensed dealers who are required to keep sales records.

“Fireworks bought from other sources may not be British Standard approved thus presenting an even bigger risk of injury. It is also illegal to possess, sell, handle or use fireworks if you do not have a licence. And you can be fined up to £5,000 for breaking the law.

“Remember, what might seem like harmless fun to some, may seem feel like anti-social behaviour to others. Please contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you have any information as it may help prevent someone being seriously injured.”