Youths throw fireworks at guide dog

A guide dog was left startled after youngsters threw '˜bang snap' fireworks on to a train.

The dog was with its partially sighted owner travelling to Earlestown when the incident happened on Thursday, October 27.

When the fireworks hit the ground they make a loud crack similar to the sound of a gun being fired.

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The volume of the bang which went off close to the dog startled it and left both the dog and its owner visibly shaken.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the incident at St Helens Junction in a bid to find those responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference 150 of 03/11/2016. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Officers are also issuing a stern warning to anyone who plays with fireworks, particularly in the vicinity of the railway, reminding them that they can

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cause injury and death if used carelessly or maliciously.

PC Alex Jones said: “In this instance the animal was left extremely distressed by a stupid prank. We believe around six young children were involved, aged around 12 years old.

“Pranks like these can go horribly wrong and result in horrific consequences.

“I would urge parents to speak to their children about the safe use of fireworks and to make sure they

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know where their children are hanging about, particularly during the winter nights.

“Above all else is it vital they reinforce the message that fireworks are not toys and the railway is not a playground.”

Meanwhile, fire service chiefs are reiterating their annual safety warnings on the dangers of fireworks, insisting the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display.