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Police crack down on illegal fireworks before New Year's Eve

Animal rights groups launch campaign

30 December, 14:34
Police crack down on illegal fireworks before New Year's Eve (ANSA) - Rome, December 30 - Police in Ercolano, near Naples, arrested a couple and their 25-year-old son on Monday and seized over 12 kilos of illegal fireworks as police sweeps ahead of New Year's Eve intensified.

Also in the area of Naples, officers arrested two men who were travelling with eight kilos of illegal fireworks in their car and a third man who kept 10 kilos of firecrackers at home.

None of those arrested reportedly had a police record.

Italy's traditional New Year fireworks mayhem regularly results in burns and mutilation with a reported six deaths and 2,311 injuries over the last five years.

Naples is usually the worst-hit city, recording the highest number of injuries.

In another police sweep Monday, 45 kilos of illegal fireworks were seized from a stationery store in Florence.

Meanwhile the Italian federation of animal and environmental rights associations including 23 leading groups launched a campaign against New Year's Eve firecrackers, denouncing that many domestic and wild animals literally die of fear in Italy every year, and warning pet owners to keep animals inside, possibly with the TV or radio on to muffle the sound of fireworks.