Unlicensed fireworks to be targeted by police during Diwali

Dubai police say they will be watching closely during Diwali to make sure no incidents with illegal fireworks occur.

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DUBAI // Most fireworks sold illegally are of poor quality and dangerous, police warned yesterday as Diwali celebrations got under way.

"Many people think that fireworks are a source of joy, but they are the complete opposite as they can have dramatic consequences," said Col Khalil Al Bishari, the head of the Explosives Security Department at Dubai Police.

Children suffered most of the injuries caused by the unsafe use of fireworks, such as loss of sight or hearing, he said.

Possessing fireworks without a licence is illegal and this applies not only to traders but also to any member of the public who buys them.

Police say Federal Law No 3 of 2009 on Weapons, Ammunitions and Explosives covers all types of explosives, from tiny fireworks such as firecrackers to rockets and mortars. The law does not directly address fireworks, but possession of explosives is punishable by up to three months in jail or a maximum fine of Dh3,000.

Col Al Bishari said Diwali celebrations in Dubai were generally peaceful and quiet, but that police worked continuously to combat the misuse of fireworks whether there was a holiday or not. "We do not carry out our work as a reaction to events. On the contrary, we work with a precautionary approach. Throughout the year we carry out awareness and inspection campaigns. The aim of this action is to protect lives."