News item

fireworks award

A groundbreaking task force set up by explosive and petroleum trading standards officer Richard Rockall saw firework-related calls more than halved during their busiest season.

Mr Rockall was awarded the High Sheriff's Award, which gives public recognition to unsung heroes who have done exceptional work contributing to the preservation of law and order across the county.

He said: ‘It's a great feeling to receive recognition for the work you do and I'm absolutely delighted to receive this award. Setting up the partnership was a big challenge and everyone involved really put in a lot of work to make it a success.’

The task force team involving police, district councils and the county council's fire and rescue service, carried out extensive evening patrols in Oxfordshire during October and November 2008.  They clamped down firework misuse and carried out spot checks at stores selling them.

The partnership was hailed a success after firework related calls were down to 18 from the previous year's 40 - and ten of those were false alarms.

The multi-agency approach has now been rolled out to other areas of the country as a 'best practice' scheme, and will be running again in Oxfordshire this year.