We requested the following information from 45 police forces in England, Scotland and Wales for the period 15/10/20 to 14/11/20 (the seasonal sales period around bonfire night and Diwali – a period of 31 days):
- The number of calls received regarding firework use.
- The number of incidents where fireworks have been used against police officers.
- The number of incidents of illegal use of fireworks.
- The number of incidents of anti-social behaviour regarding firewoks.
- All records of any injuries relating to firework use.
Five forces didn’t respond to our request and 11 forces were unable to provide the information due to the high number of reports*
NA = Not Available
R = Refused
We sent a further request to the forces unable to answer our first request asking for the total number of incidents with a keyword of “firework”.
4 forces were also unable to provide this information due to the high number of reports*
*The cost of providing the information requested is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the “appropriate level” as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004. It is estimated that it would exceed 18 hours.
When we compare the total number of police reports (from our first request) for the five forces with the highest number of incidents to the media reports for the same period, we can clearly see that the media reports represent only a very small fraction of the true picture.