Trinidad Government to Ban Scratch Bombs

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Stuart Young says the Ministry of National Security will move expeditiously to have the banning of scratch bombs implemented as law.

Users Will Face Prosecution for Having Illegal Weapon

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago government says it will ban the importation of “scratch bombs” into the country after describing the firework as a “real nuisance item”.
National Security and Communication Minister, Stuart Young, speaking at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Thursday, told reporters that when the scratch bombs are outlawed, anyone found with them will be treated in a similar fashion to those found with an illegal firearm.
“This is a re­al na­tion­al nui­sance,” Young said, noting that several people have suffered ‘serious injuries” as a result of these bombs.
“In fact either last year or the year before, we had an incident where irresponsible persons threw a scratch bomb into a car and a lady in an attempt, as I recall the facts, to save her grandchild, picked up the scratch bomb to throw it out of the car and it exploded in her hand and she lost some fingers.
“We have had recent incidents where children playing with scratch bombs sustained injuries and even some adults,” Young said, adding that he was happy to announce the decision of the Cabinet to ban the importation of those fireworks.
Dur­ing this year’s Di­vali cel­e­bra­tions, a fire at a prop­er­ty al­leged­ly caused by a scratch bomb left nine peo­ple home­less.
Young said the Ministry of National Security “will move expeditiously to have this implemented as the law”.
Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter An­tho­ny Gar­cia said he was elat­ed at the Cab­i­net’s de­ci­sion to out­law scratch bombs.
“The de­ci­sion is in sync with the re­cent re­view of our code of con­duct pol­i­cy which states in­cen­di­ary de­vices like scratch bombs are pro­hib­it­ed with­in schools. I’d al­ready de­cid­ed that any stu­dent found with this item or det­o­nat­ing it will be im­me­di­ate­ly sus­pend­ed and I’d asked prin­ci­pals for ex­tend­ed sus­pen­sions and in­ves­ti­ga­tions on such mat­ters,” Gar­cia was reported as saying in a tele­phone in­ter­view with the Guardian.
“Cab­i­net’s de­ci­sion goes a lit­tle fur­ther since it’ll cause any new of­fend­ing stu­dent to be hauled be­fore the courts. We can sim­ply no longer tol­er­ate stu­dents wil­ful­ly and ma­li­cious­ly dis­rupt­ing the ed­u­ca­tion of oth­ers.
“Teach­ers in schools from North to South have con­stant­ly com­plained that apart from dis­rup­tive nois­es scratch bombs cause, in some in­stances both teach­ers and stu­dents have suf­fered ear drum-re­lat­ed dam­age, dif­fi­cul­ty in hear­ing and in some cas­es, ear and nose bleed­ing.”
He al­so said the Barataria school teacher who was at­tacked by the stu­dent he at­tempt­ed to seize scratch bombs from is out of the hos­pi­tal. The stu­dent has been sus­pend­ed and the mat­ter is now sub­ject of a case con­fer­ence in­volv­ing school/min­istry of­fi­cials and the par­ents. – CMC and TRINIDAD GUARDIAN

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