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WHSmith defuses Xmas crackers

Explosive risk to under-16s

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

WHSmith has decided to clamp down on the unauthorised ownership of explosives by banning anyone under 16 from buying Christmas crackers, The Sun reports.

The policy - provoked by the fact that said crackers contain a small amount of gunpowder - came as quite a shock to 18-year-old Hannah Thomas of Weymouth, Dorset. The till operative refused to sell her a box of crackers because she looked "too young", and since the poor girl couldn't prove her age, she returned home crackerless.

She told The Sun: "I couldn't believe it - I thought they were joking. How can a Christmas cracker be dangerous?"

Hannah's mum weighed in by describing the policy as "ridiculous". She added: "These are crackers, not fireworks. I never heard of anyone being maimed by one."

WHSmith, however, called the ban "responsible retailing".

We agree. By our reckoning, a team of council estate under-16 ne'er-do-wells would only need to extract the explosive from around 20,000 Christmas crackers to build a device capable of delivering a nasty shock when posted through the letterbox of the decorated war veteran running the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Our streets are tonight safer for decent, God-fearing citizens. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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