The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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Parliament discusses new penalties for unlawful firing of small fireworks if no injury is caused

Monday, 3 October 2022, 18:32 Last update: about 3 months ago

A bill to amend the laws regulating the Civil Protection Department and explosives ordinances was the first to be debated as Parliament resumed after the summer recess on Monday.

Byron Camilleri, Minister of Home Affairs, introduced the bill.

He explained that the bill is spilt into two, with the first part to make the Civil Protection Department's Assistance and Rescue Force a disciplined force for the purposes of the Constitution, so as to stand comparable to other disciplined forces.

The second part of the bill calls for fairer penalties for the unauthorised discharge of small fireworks in areas where no harm is caused.

Additionally, the Minister said that the government had invested heavily in rescue services, buying 37 new vehicles that could be used for rescues on narrow roads, in industrial areas, or in tall buildings.

The minister also announced that the department would also be benefitting from a new €2 million maritime rescue launch.

Pointing out past amendments to the Explosive Ordinance, Shadow minister for Home affairs Joe Giglio said that up until now the law did not differentiate between minor and serious cases to let off unlawful fireworks, which caused no injury or damage.

Giglio agreed with the bill and said that up until now, those found guilty of the offence where there was no injury or damage caused could still be given a prison sentence and a fine which reached the minimum of €15,000, up to €50,000, whereas with the new bill such fines will now be downgraded to reflect the illegal act, to between €120 and €350.


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