Youth gangs throw fireworks at homes and cars in Cookstown

Fireworks taken from youths in Mid Ulster by police
Fireworks taken from youths in Mid Ulster by police

Crowds of youths have been stopped and searched by police after reports that fireworks were being thrown at cars and homes in Cookstown.

The PSNI said it had received reports of squibs being thrown as passing vehicles in the Cemetery Road area of town on Saturday evening (October 22).

And after attending the call a number of young people had “fire work related items seized” by officers.

Police warned those involved to “expect a rap at the door shortly” as they follow up on the incident.

The same problem has occurred in other parts of town.

A young woman told Mail she and a friend had been walking along Westland Road arond 9pm on Thursday night when “a firework went off behind us and across the road and hit a wall”.

“It really did frighten the life out of us,” she explained.

“It’s a very dangerous and stupid thing to be doing.”

She said the incident took place near the residential home on Westland Road, adding: “If that had been an elderly person they would have taken a heart attack.

“It was so loud, my heart was racing.”

Mid Ulster Council chair Trevor Wilson has called on people to stay safe over the Halloween period.

“There is such huge excitement at Halloween, especially among young children, but the safety message is paramount to ensure everyone gets to enjoy events to the full,” he said.

“Last year 15 people, the vast majority of them children, had to be taken to hospital to have firework injuries treated, while there are also reports of less serious cases of minor burns treated at homes when fireworks are mishandled.

“I’m urging local people to take just a few minutes to remind themselves about simple tips in the Fireworks Code”.