In my post on the Great BNP Bomb Horror I wondered why anyone would try to make gunpowder, given the availability of cheap multishot "cake" fireworks.
Would you believe it ? Scallyland has been at the forefront of UK improvised explosive device technology for at least four years.
Industrial fireworks are meant to be used to wow the public during professional displays, run by professional handlers. But on Merseyside, criminal gangs have been turning them into bombs, with devastating results. In the six months leading up to October 2004, devices attached to cars detonated outside three police stations in Liverpool. Debris from one of the blasts flung over 100 metres, and it's the power of the explosives that is causing concern with police and residents.
By "industrial fireworks" they mean the large display-type devices, ususlly only available from specialist shops . But cheaper cakes have their uses in the growing "informal vandalism" sector of the Scally criminal economy.
The availability of the fireworks has lead to attacks being spread beyond organised crime and onto the streets. Chief Superintendent Paul Forrester admits the use of firework bombs is becoming almost a regular occurrence around Liverpool. "You'd be a lucky resident living in this area not to have seen some of the damage caused to street furniture such as phone boxes and post boxes".