Warning from transport police after guide dog traumatised when “bang snaps” thrown onto train

British Transport Police on Merseyside have issued a warning in the run up to Bonfire night after a guide dog was left distressed when bang snaps – a type of firework – were thrown onto a train.

The dog was accompanying its partially sighted owner on the train from Broad Green to Earlestown when the doors opened at St Helens Junction station and a group of children threw bang snaps inside the carriage, terrifying passengers.

On impact with the ground the bang snaps make a loud crack similar to a cap gun. The volume of the bang which went off in close proximity to the dog startled it and left both the dog and its owner visibly shaken.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the incident in a bid to find those responsible. The incident occurred on Thursday, 27 October on the 5.29pm Broad Green to Manchester Victoria service.

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 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 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.”


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