The advertisement department at the paper is supporting editorial in a campaign to persuade the Govern-ment to outlaw over-the-counter sales of fireworks to anyone other than those buying for licensed organised bonfires. The move follows a series of horrific incidents in the run-up to Guy Fawkes’ Night.
Editor Paul Horrocks said there had already been a lot of injuries. "Yobs threw a firework along a street knowing a particular dog would run after it as if it was a stick. It blew the dog up and killed it.
"We carried one dreadful story last Friday of a pregnant woman who lost her baby when yobs threw a firework through her letterbox. It exploded near her stomach."
Following the story, the paper carried an advertisement from a garden centre promoting the sale of fireworks.
A reader quickly pointed out what he saw as hypocrisy on the part of the paper when it was campaigning for a ban on such sales.
"We no longer accept advertisements from any company relating to the sale of fireworks," said Horrocks.
Local MP Jim Dobbin has taken up the MEN’s cause and is lobbying the Government to act on the paper’s campaign.
Horrocks added: "Every year newspapers report a catalogue of injury caused by fireworks and we know that often young people get access to fireworks when they are below the legal age at which they can buy them. These are potentially lethal devices, which year after year are misused, and I think it’s time the Government addressed the issue as a matter of public safety.
"We are not against people enjoying themselves and there’s no reason why they can’t go to organised bonfires and fireworks displays. Our campaign is being run in conjunction with Manchester City Council, which is now advertising such displays and we are recommending people go to those rather than having their own, which can be dangerous." The Kent Messenger printed a poster to help its readers deter unwanted trick-or-treaters this Halloween.
The half-page poster, said: ""o trick or treat, thank you" in 140 point red capitals and carried the logos of the KM and Kent Police.
Readers were invited to cut it out and put it in a front window. Editor Ron Green said: "Each year we run stories about trick-or-treaters causing all kinds of problems, so we thought we would help people do something about it."