By Sue-Ann Wayow
AS the country prepare for Divali festivities on Saturday, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is reminding the public to use fireworks and other explosives with caution.
The TTPS in a press release issued on Wednesday, stated, “It has come to the attention of the TTPS that preparations are already underway for the sale of fireworks in time for the Divali which will be celebrated this Saturday. The TTPS reminds the public that over the years, there were reports of persons being injured by fireworks. Also, the indiscriminate use of fireworks, causes problems for animals and the elderly.”
The TTPS outlined the sections of the law relating to fireworks which must be followed:
Fireworks in the Town
Section 99 (1) states- Except as prescribed by Regulations under this Act, any person who throws, casts, sets fire to, or lets off any fireworks within any town is liable to a fine of $1,000. Town includes the cities of Port-of-Spain and San Fernando, and the borough of Arima, and every part of the area within two miles of the boundaries of such City or of either of such Boroughs.
Fireworks Outside of Town
Section 100 states- Any person who throws, casts, sets fire to, or lets off any fireworks into, in, or upon any street not being in any town, or into, in, or upon any place being within 60 feet of the centre of any such street, is liable to a fine of $400.
Sale of Fireworks
In accordance with Section 10 (1)– No person other than a wholesale or retail dealer shall sell gunpowder, or offer or expose the same for sale.
Section 10 (2) states- Any person who contravenes the provisions of this section is liable to a fine of $2000.
Inspection of Stock and Books
The following section applies to individuals engaged in the sale of fireworks:
Section 40 (1) states the following quite clearly- A police officer may at any time when such premises are open for business, enter the premises of any wholesale or retail dealer and inspect all explosives in the stock of the dealer and the receptacles in which the same may be stored, and books kept by any such dealer under this Act, and take a copy of any entries in any of such books.
The TTPS added that it will ensure that persons engaged in the sale of fireworks conduct such business under the authority of a licence, and anyone found in contravention of the law will be charged.