Glasgow shopkeeper put neighbors at ‘serious risk’ by storing fireworks in roof void

A Glasgow shopkeeper stored fireworks in a roof void just inches below residential flats – putting neighbors living above him at ‘serious risk’.

The shocking discovery was made less than a week before Bonfire Night on October 29, 2020, at Amjad Javed’s shop ASR Gift Center in Pollokshields. .

The 60-year-old received a visit from Trading Standards officers, who caught him storing the explosives without a license and in an unsafe manner.

Javed, who has run the shop for around 30 years, was also found to have the explosives contained within a roof void of a room used as a staff toilet in the Albert Drive shop.

When Trading Standard officers turned up to the shop with police for an inspection, Javed was asked about fireworks and denied having any in the store.

He pleaded guilty to failing to take appropriate measures to prevent a fire or explosion by keeping the fireworks out with their transport boxes, in a room containing cardboard, wood and other combustible materials.

Javed, from Shawlands, was fined £1,515 when he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court for sentencing on March 23.

The procurator fiscal depute told Sheriff Valerie Mays: “The shop is on the ground floor of a traditional tenement building with residential properties above.

He put neighbors living above his store at ‘serious risk’

“Mr Javed previously held a license authorizing the storage of fireworks. At the time of the offence, he did not hold a license.

“The previous license contained conditions as to where the fireworks would be stored and the quantity and the type.

“It required storage within a locked cupboard under the stairs and those on display to be kept in a locked glass cabinet. A quantity had been stored within the shop storage area.

“They were found within a cupboard, in an uncovered metal cage. These were not within their transport cartons.

“Concerningly, there was also a quantity of fireworks in a roof void within a staff toilet area. The fact these items were being stored without a license meant authorities had no knowledge of these explosives.

“If the fire service attended a fire or explosion, they would not be aware of them. They were stored in an unsafe manner in the storeroom and the ceiling void.

“I think you have an indication of the risk involved in this.”

A letter was sent to Javed following the discovery, asking him questions under caution.

He responded accepting that he did not have a license and stated the fireworks were not being sold or for sale.

His lawyer said the offenses rose from a “lack of thought rather than positive criminality.”

He added: “He is under no illusions, now, the seriousness of these matters and the purposes of the provisions for the protection.

“He is truly sorry for the position in which he finds himself in and more particular, for the risk which he now appreciated he had exposed members of the public in general, and in particular, neighbours.”

His lawyer added: “He appreciates this might have had more serious consequences, but fortunately it didn’t.”

Gary Walker, Glasgow City Council’s Head of Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “Fireworks can be very volatile if stored incorrectly.

“The way these items were stored was extremely dangerous – especially as people were living in the flats above.”

Walker added: “Antisocial behavior involving fireworks is a real concern in the run-up to Bonfire Night, particularly in areas like Pollokshields, and our Trading Standards team work closely with Police Scotland to ensure laws are being adhered to.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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