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To not want fireworks thrown at me as I walk down the road?

(17 Posts)
IncreasinglyMisanthropic Sat 07-Oct-17 23:23:39

I would just like some advice on whether I'm overreacting or not.

I went out last night to one of my local shops to buy some alcohol and there was a gang of teenagers hanging around who looked like they were intent on causing trouble. I didn't look at them or engage them in any way but on my way back from the shop they had moved and were looking even more menacing so I crossed the road. As I was crossing the road and was nearly on the other side two fireworks were thrown in my direction, I don't know if this was on purpose or if they were aiming for each other and the sparks flew across to the other side of the road. I was completely terrified but other people walking past did not seem that shocked by what had happened! I'm concerned I was targeted specifically as I was a young woman on my own and maybe me crossing the road provoked them somehow?

I called the police but they didn't seem particularly interested and said unless these thugs were aiming for a car, it may not even be a crime.

Am I the only person who would be traumatised by something like this? I didn't go out today partly because I was scared of bumping into these people again. I'm based in London, if that's of any relevance.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Sat 07-Oct-17 23:30:00

I'm amazed they're even sold.

I'd have been scared too.

We need more of those terrifying safety adverts we had in the 80s. No one my age breaks any rules thanks to those ads.

JonSnowsWhore Sun 08-Oct-17 00:11:45

Oh bloody hell not all this again. I live in Enfield and last year right where I live was all over the news for having this happening for a few nights around bonfire night. I guess it’s all going to be happening again. They’re not even scared of the police it’s bloody ridiculous

Glad you’re alright, normally I wouldn’t want to scare anyone but because of all the shit we saw last year I am going to say try not to go out walking after dark. It’s crap to have to say that but they just don’t give a fuck who they’re throwing them at or what damage they do

thecatfromjapan Sun 08-Oct-17 00:16:42

Don't let it stop you going out. sad

It's horrible near us but ... unpleasantly, it seems to be children from other schools coming at home time to throw fireworks at the children coming out of the local school. Which is horrible.

scoobydoo1971 Sun 08-Oct-17 00:20:09

Perhaps you could call Trading Standards and tell them what is going on. They might have a word with the local shopkeepers if the fireworks came from there. If you don't think any particular shop is involved, why not drop in to a few shops and tell them what is happening. If there are teenagers loitering and deterring customers from using their shops, they may act.

If they complain as a local business, then police may patrol and respond...the more than complain, then the police will be inclined to act under public disorder act.

WorraLiberty Sun 08-Oct-17 00:20:42

YANBU, what a horrible experience.

The only thing I will say is if they did target you deliberately because you crossed the road, it's unlikely they'll even remember what you look like now, so I wouldn't let it scare you into staying in.

As for the police, this sort of anti-social behaviour is seen as very low level crime nowadays, sadly. This is because they're so over stretched and under funded, they literally wouldn't be able to deal with that unless they happened to be passing and caught them in the act.

Believe me, I've reported far more serious crimes to both 101 and 999 recently and I've been told they literally have a list of reports that are hours old, and they still haven't got round to dealing with them.

A good tip would be to email/FB message or Tweet your local safer neighbourhood police team and report it to them. That way they're aware and may possibly sent a couple of beat officers in that direction if it becomes a regular haunt.

khajiit13 Sun 08-Oct-17 00:24:58

It happens everywhere. I really think there needs to be tighter restrictions on who and when they're sold

HelenaDove Sun 08-Oct-17 00:59:19

A bloody dangerous and stupid thing to do.

Italiangreyhound Sun 08-Oct-17 01:26:31

OP I am so sorry this happened and glad you are OK.

"I called the police but they didn't seem particularly interested and said unless these thugs were aiming for a car, it may not even be a crime."

The implication here is that damaging a person with a firework is not a crime but damaging a car is.

The person you spoke to was a moron.

"It is an offence to:

possess adult fireworks (all fireworks except party poppers and sparklers ) in a public place by anyone under the age of 18;
possess category 4 fireworks (professional display fireworks) by anyone other than a fireworks professional;
it is illegal to supply adult fireworks to those under 18;
*throw or cast or fire any firework in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space (this would include throwing or firing from a private place into a public place, street, highway etc);
to discharge any firearm or firework (without lawful authority or excuse) within 50 feet of the centre of a highway which consists of or comprises a carriageway."* [emphasis mine]

Were the thugs near a shop selling fireworks? You could call trading standards with your suspicions anonymously.

I wish they would just ban the sale of these and only have professionally regulated firework displays.

I've got no advice except to say if you feel sufficiently angry you could go back to the police and ask for the community liaison perosn.

Also, if anything does happen again I would call the police and complain again. But I hope it doesn't happen again and all is well.

ShirleyPhallus Sun 08-Oct-17 01:28:29

Do you genuinely think someone might come on here and say "YABU, you should allow people to throw fireworks at you"??

Userlavender Sun 08-Oct-17 01:34:24

I don't understand your 'aibu'? Are you trying to pretend you don't already know it's unreasonable for people to throw fireworks at people? Unless certifiable I think the majority of adults would know this and not need to ask if they were being unreasonable for suggesting otherwise.

IncreasinglyMisanthropic Sun 08-Oct-17 01:46:32

Thanks everyone for your replies and advice. I asked if I was being unreasonable as when it happened none of the other passersby seemed to be particularly startled but perhaps because they weren't as close to the sparks or maybe because it was a Friday night and they were a bit 'merry'. Also, I confess to suffering with anxiety sometimes, it doesn't rule my life but I do have to question myself when things like this happen as some people view it as 'teens being teens' and would say I'm over-reacting. Even my mum said perhaps it's best not to go out so late (it was 9:30PM) this time of year.

In our current climate of frequent terror attacks it is very frightening to have a large group of youths suddenly use fireworks as weapons then quickly disperse. I have honestly never witnessed this kind of behaviour before in my neighbourhood, I was scared they might have knives and start attacking people at random.

The teenagers were hanging around between a tube station and a newsagent so they may have bought them from that shop or bought them somewhere completely different and travelled in to the area.

IncreasinglyMisanthropic Sun 08-Oct-17 01:56:08

Maybe the title of the thread was slightly hyberbolic but from the reactions of other passersby, the 101 Call Handler, my mother and a poster on another forum I posted on about this, I have been made to feel like IABU. Some people do think this kind of behaviour is the norm now, especially in London.

JonSnowsWhore Sun 08-Oct-17 10:20:16

I certainly wouldn’t call it normal behaviour, idiots wanting to hurt or scare other people for fun certainly isn’t normal. But more common yes.
Like I said normally I wouldn’t tell anyone to stay in & not go about their normal lives but I think because I saw it so close & how bad it got right on my doorstep last year, there’s no way I’d have been going out in that so I feel a bit more inclined to say that unfortunately.
Thing is if shops don’t sell them to younger people, there’ll be someone a bit older but just as stupid that they know who’ll go in & get them for them.

LakieLady Sun 08-Oct-17 11:07:11

I called the police but they didn't seem particularly interested and said unless these thugs were aiming for a car, it may not even be a crime.

Wtaf? No wonder the crime rate's so high if police officers are this ignorant about the law.

It is an offence to let off a firework on the public highway and is punishable by a fine, either in the magistrates court or by an £80 FPN. Prosecutions used to be brought under the Explosives Act of 1875, but they may use more recent public order legislation.

In the county where I live, Nov 5th is a huge thing and fireworks and torchlit processions most weekends from 3rd week of September for 2 months. I used to be involved in it, and most weekends someone would get nicked, usually for doing something stupid and generally drink related. Even though I'm one of the most law-abiding people I know, and even I got a caution for letting off a firework in an empty pub car park (that copper didn't know what law I'd broken, tbh, but when I asked him, he told me that if I wanted to discuss the finer points of the law, I could do it at the local police station, and I didn't fancy trying to get the 30 miles home in the middle of the night).

One man I know got a £300 fine for letting a firework off in the street, so it's definitely illegal.

And it's dangerous. Even the smallest firework will have fuse wire in it, and I've known people get nasty eye injuries from a bit of flying fuse wire. Burns, small blast injuries and even bits of fingers blown off are relatively commonplace among the local bonfire fraternity, and one Nov 5th, someone in the crowd threw a firework that landed in my bra, but luckily I hoicked it out before it went off and only got small burns on the tips of my fingers.

Dangerous, stupid and definitely illegal. YANBU.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 08-Oct-17 11:13:26

I think there's a place somewhere between your anxiety kicking in and you being U, if that makes sense?

100% a group of young people throwing fireworks around is completely unreasonable, illegal, anti-social and dangerous. You were right to call the police, they were wrong to say what they said and not do anything.

However, there is a pretty big gap between that and them pulling knives out to start attacking people; that's your anxiety talking. 9.30 is not late and you have a perfect right to be out on the street at that point.

As an aside, I don't know why fireworks aren't banned, really they're a massive pain in the arse (dog owner here). They should only be licensed for public displays, not sold in the shops. And actually, I think Trading Standards is a good shout.

HelenaDove Sun 08-Oct-17 17:49:57

Its ridiculous that they arent banned except for public displays. They contain gunpowder FFS.

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