§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will seek to amend firework legislation to introduce a minimum fine of £100 for throwing fireworks on the street; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what are the latest figures available for the average fine imposed for throwing fireworks in the street and other firework offences; what are the numbers of convictions: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Brittan:
In 1978, 135 persons were found guilty in England and Wales of offences against section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875 of whom 106 were fined. The fines imposed ranged between £1 and £50. The average was £10.
It is our general practice to leave the courts with discretion, within maxima set by Parliament, to fix penalties in individual cases. We see no sufficient reason to make an exception for this offence for which the maximum is £200.