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New law bans use of flares at UK festivals

Those caught could face prison time...

New legislation introduced yesterday (3rd April) in the UK has banned the use of flares and other pyrotechnic devices at festivals across the nation.

Those prosecuted under Section 134 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 for possession of pyrotechnics at any “qualifying musical event” in England or Wales may have to pay a fine and/or could be sentenced to up to three months in prison.

A pyrotechnic device is defined as “an article that contains explosive substances, or an explosive mixture of substances, designed to produce heat, light, sound, gas or smoke, or a combination of such effects, through self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions,” which includes flares, smokebombs and fireworks, although not matches, as Solicitor Alex Chapman explain via a LinkedIn post.

The change echoes similar laws passed recently to prevent the use of flares at sporting events, and are designed to protect others from the dangers of pyrotechnic devices, which can cause severe burns. 

However, as Chapman states: "Unlike a football match, the police will struggle to enter the crowd at a festival to make an arrest and the crowd is not monitored with CCTV. Most arrests under the new law will probably come at festival gates, as with drugs."

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