A WATERSIDE man is demanding tighter controls on fireworks after a giant rocket damaged the roof of his house.

The four-ounce rocket smashed a tile on Chris Aldhous' roof and the force of the impact caused three more tiles to shatter beneath it.

Mr Aldhous, of Monks Walk, Dibden Purlieu, found remnants of the metre-long device when he was cleaning leaves from his guttering.

The rocket was so big it should have been used only as part of a professional event, but must have been let off by a member of the public as there were no organised displays in the New Forest area on the night it happened.

Mr Aldhous, 61, said: "The law seems to be skewed in all cases relating to people who display criminal irresponsibility, whether it's kids buying beer or discharging fireworks without caring about others around them.

"I have no objection to fireworks but I do object to them being used irresponsibly. I don't care about four tiles but it could have hit someone.

"This year there was a lot of stuff about antisocial use of fireworks and I thought things would be easier, but there seems to be no means of protecting the individual, despite all the hype."

Mr Aldhous reported Monday's incident to the police, but he says he was told it was a civil matter and they could take no action.

Police have been given new powers to issue on-the-spot fines of £80 to anyone caught misusing fireworks.

They can hand fixed penalty notices to people setting off fireworks at night, youngsters caught with fireworks, and adults found with high-powered display fireworks.

Offenders who refuse to pay the £80 fixed penalty will face an increased fine of £120 and court action.

Supt Barry Talbot, head of New Forest police, said it was too early to calculate how many fines were dished out in the area over the firework season.

However, he confirmed that 14 firework-related calls were received across the district between the evening of November 5 and midnight on November 7.

Most were about noise, but the fireworks were discharged during permitted times, so no offences were committed.

Supt Talbot could not comment about Mr Aldhous' complaint but said it would be very difficult to prosecute anyone responsible for letting off a display firework.

He said: "We would have to find someone in possession of an over-large firework. Ultimately it's about evidence."