A “full and frank debate” around the sale of fireworks in Scotland is needed as part of efforts to improve safety and crack down on anti-social behaviour, it has been suggested.

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham made the comments as she announced a new group will consider restrictions on the use of fireworks on private property.

It follows a public consultation on the use of fireworks in Scotland, which gained over 16,000 responses.

It found 71% of respondents want more controls over the sale of fireworks, while 68% are supportive of more controls over how they are used.

A total of 58% of respondents said they support an all-out ban on the sale of fireworks to the general public.

READ MORE: Fire bosses coordinate for Bonfire Night trouble

Ms Denham said: “The results of both our public consultation and national survey demonstrate overwhelming public support for a change in how fireworks are sold and used in Scotland.

“While legislation on the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster, we need a full and frank debate on how fireworks are sold and I will continue to press the UK Government on this issue.

“Our fireworks review group will now consider how best to use the powers at our disposal to drive forward action to reduce the damage caused by fireworks misuse.

“We want to ensure that every community is able to enjoy fireworks without fear of their inappropriate use and I look forward to working closely with communities, key partners and the fireworks industry to achieve this.”

The group will consider whether to change the times at which fireworks can be let off, as well as potentially introducing zones where they are prohibited.

Speaking at Holyrood yesterday, Ms Denham said she would consider a ban on the general sale of fireworks in the country if the power to choose to do so was devolved to Scotland.

READ MORE: Cops promise firework crackdown as Pollokshields ringleaders rounded up

“The sale of fireworks is, of course, a reserved matter,” said Ms Denham.

“I should say that if we did have the powers, reflecting the majority view of the public in both the consultation and the national survey, I would seek to implement tougher curbs on firework sales, including potentially a ban on their general sale.

“In the meantime, I have personally written to the UK Government regularly over the last year to keep them updated on the consultation.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Maurice Corry said his party would work with both the Scottish and UK Governments to seek consensus on the issue.

“The Scottish Conservatives agree that there is a balance to be struck between safe enjoyment of fireworks and robust regulation to prevent anti-social and illegal behaviour,” he said.

“We will work with both of Scotland’s Governments to seek consensus on what further steps should be taken.”

Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly said his party welcomed the statement by Ms Denham and the establishment of the review group.

“Fireworks displays properly organised can be excellent community events that people can turn out to enjoy,” he said.

“However, there have been increasing incidents of recent years where there’s been disorder and that’s caused anxiety and fear among the general public.”