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Operation Treacle is a Sweet Success
Friday 20th November, 2009

Bonfire night certainly went with a bang this year, but it was a safe one.

The council and its partners are pleased at the response to ‘Operation Treacle’, which promotes safety and responsible behaviour during the busy Hallowe’en and bonfire night period. And trading standards bosses are thanking retailers across the borough for their responsible attitude to the sale of fireworks to youngsters.

Cllr Paul Prescott, the council’s lifestyle champion with responsibility for licensing, says: “Thank you to all traders for your co-operation. The strict tests we employed to ensure fireworks didn’t get into the hands of children were successful, and this means both retailers and youngsters are getting the message that firework sales aren’t for under 18s.”

All traders selling fireworks were visited by trading standards in the run up to the fireworks’ sales period. Officers made them aware of their responsibilities in law and later carried out 15 test purchases using a volunteer under the age of 18.

All the shops refused to sell fireworks to the volunteer.

The work of trading standards was carried out as part of the Operation Treacle initiative, which brings together agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Service, Police and councils from across Greater Manchester.

A video by PSCOs about staying safe over Christmas and during Bonfire night, which was aimed at young people, was viewed over 530 times online.

Many young people across the borough stayed safe during the ‘mischief week’ of Hallowe'en and Bonfire night with assistance from council youth workers and colleagues in the emergency services. Activity programmes in several youth clubs kept them entertained and creating Hallowe’en masks and decorations, whilst having expert fire and personal safety advice.

Officials from the council report that this year’s operation in Wigan Borough was safe and successful, with positive reports from the high schools which were visited and good feedback from the clubs and activities laid on by the partner organisations.

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