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Chelmsford City Council encourages residents to be considerate and stick to "Rocket O’Clock" this year

November 3, 2021 9:44 AM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

Protect pets from fireworks noise (Chelmsford City Council)Chelmsford residents are being asked to consider the wider community and keep their fireworks to a reasonable time this year. The City Council's "Rocket O'Clock" campaign is returning to emphasise the message about being 'good neighbours'.

The campaign launched in 2020, with support from local RSPCA inspectors. This year, the council is encouraging everyone to either go to a public display or, if they must have a home fireworks display, to stick to 7.30-8.30pm on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 November 2021.

The time coincides with public displays at Admirals Park and Kings Farm.

The noise and flashes of fireworks are fun for some, but can cause distress and difficulties for others, such as:

  • pets
  • people with conditions like PTSD, autism and anxiety
  • people who rely on assistance dogs
  • very young children and their parents/carers
  • shift workers
  • wildlife
  • livestock and farmers

To help protect these groups, you can also buy silent or quiet fireworks. These still have the colours and effects of 'regular' fireworks, but are designed to cause far less noise.

A request to be considerate

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford, said, "Fireworks can be upsetting for a lot of households. While many are out enjoying the lights and colours, there are others spending their November evenings trying to comfort shaking dogs, supporting a child or adult with sensory issues through the overwhelming noise, or experiencing unpleasant memories because their PTSD is triggered by fireworks.

"Realistically, we know we can't stop people having fireworks at home - the law doesn't support it and of course many people safely enjoy them. Rocket O'Clock isn't a legal requirement - it's a request to please be considerate of others. It helps families to know when to expect fireworks, it limits the time window when distress is caused and as a bonus, displays look better together."

If there are problems with fireworks in your area

Anywhere in the country, you can Report It Online by phoning 101 or https://www.police.uk/pu/contact-the-police/report-a-crime-incident

Chelmsford residents can additionally let the Community Safety team know here: https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/communities/community-safety/anti-social-behaviour-and-hate-crime/report-anti-social-behaviour

Essex Police have a dedicated operation for Halloween and Fireworks Night, as they do every year. They have amended duty times to provide additional dedicated units to deal with the ASB that Fireworks Night and Halloween bring every year. They also have a large number of Special Constables assisting on Fireworks Night.

Essex Police have someone in custody for throwing eggs and fireworks and they have said that they will be "dealt with robustly".

The Fire & Rescue Service have some online resource packs of information and videos which are aimed at different age groups (scroll down on the link):
http://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/Home_Fire_Safety/Education_Hub Council officers will speak to the Fire Service to see how they get these messages out to schools.