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Ban on rocket fireworks proposed in Sweden after New Year's chaos

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Ban on rocket fireworks proposed in Sweden after New Year's chaos
The style of fireworks targeted in the proposed ban. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT
15:35 CET+01:00
A ban on the sale of rocket style fireworks, limits on sales periods and clearer rules on when fireworks can be used have been proposed in Sweden following instances of rockets being shot at the police, trains and public around New Year's Eve, which gained widespread attention in the country.

Fireworks industry organization Sveriges Fyrverkeribranschförbund is also in talks with authorities over a ban on the general public using rocket style fireworks.

According to the organization, the first step would be a sales ban on rocket fireworks constructed around a stick and propellant charge. The second step would be, should Sweden's Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) agree, to introduce a ban on the public using rockets in order to prevent illegal imports and purchases of them which could otherwise occur.

“We have seen that these rockets can cause serious harm, and when the sale of them was stopped in Norway the damage decreased drastically,” Sveriges Fyrverkeribranschförbund chairman Erik Nilsson said in a press release.

A clearer time frame for when fireworks can be used on holidays like New Year has also been proposed, citing the example of Finland, where usage is restricted to between 6pm and 2am on New Year's Eve into New Year's Day.

The industry organization does not want to see a complete ban on fireworks in Sweden however.

“We don't believe in that. We think that would have negative consequences. We believe the proposals we have made are the way forward. Most of the work must be done by the authorities, above all the police,” Nilsson elaborated.

Sveriges Fyrverkeribranschförbund held a snap meeting on Thursday after a number of reports emerged of fireworks being shot at police, emergency service workers and public transport on New Year's Eve. A video also went viral of rockets being shot towards crowds at a busy Malmö square on December 31st.

In Gothenburg alone police received around 90 calls over the New Year's weekend with reports of rockets being shot in a dangerous and careless way.

“It's not something that has appeared just this year. But there is a growing tendency for people to aim rockets towards the emergency services and people who are trying to interfere. The people shooting them have become more careless,” Stefan Gustafsson from Western Sweden police told news agency TT.

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