THIS WEEK IN 1991: Traders get a rocket over fireworks ruling

The News' Mark Barlex with a selection of fireworks bought by under-age children

Traders in Portsmouth were ignoring warnings from the county council and broke the law by selling fireworks to children under 16.

Six out of seven shops tested in a News investigation sold fireworks to a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy – neither of whom could produce any identification to prove they were over 16.

Hampshire County Council trading standards officers issued warnings to traders reminding them of their duties when selling fireworks.

The firework probe followed a News investigation which revealed shops in the Portsmouth area were continuing to flout the law by selling cigarettes to children under 16.

The News took Joanne Kill, from Wheatsheaf Drive, Cowplain, and Matt Kingdon, from Jubilee Road, Waterlooville, around Portsmouth city centre and North End to shops that sold fireworks.

In six shops, they were sold an assortment of rockets, flares and Roman candles.

In only one shop, Beatties model and hobby shop in Arundel Street, did staff refuse to serve Matt and Joanne without identification.

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