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Kids buying fireworks in Edinburgh

2 shopkeepers from Edinburgh guilty of supplying fireworks to under agers

Mohammed Saeed Qadir, 50, and Mohammed Waheed Qadir, 39, of Edinburgh Bargain Stores in St Patrick Square, failed a test purchasing exercise last November.

The shop's owners pled guilty to the charge of selling to people under the age of 18.

The pair were fined £500 each at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week.

Last year underage volunteers took part in 20 test purchases in the city, during which four sales were made to the teenagers.

The failure rate of 20% compares to figures of 8.8% in 2006 and 10% in 2007.

In previous years shop keepers caught selling fireworks to those under age received a warning.

However, council officials are now able to send their reports to the procurator fiscal after the lord advocate decided that the children's evidence could now be used in court.

Robert Aldridge, Edinburgh City Council's environment leader, said: "I am very concerned that a fifth of retailers we tested sold fireworks to young people regardless of age.

"This behaviour is totally unacceptable. Fireworks can cause serious injury and can kill so we must ensure that they are not being sold illegally to children.

"I hope these fines will serve as a stark warning that retailers must abide by the legislation."

The three remaining cases will be heard by the courts over the next three months.

Every year officers from the city's environmental health and trading standards department carry out a test purchase programme between 15 October and 10 November with volunteers who are aged 15 or 16.

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