Edinburgh Bonfire Night Chaos: Police Targeted with Petrol Bombs

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L0ndon (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Approximately 50 young individuals engaged in confrontations with riot police in Edinburgh, hurling fireworks and petrol bombs directly at the officers. Video recordings from the Niddrie area depicted police in full riot gear forming a defensive line as youths launched explosive devices at their feet.

In addition to the Edinburgh incidents, Police Scotland also had to respond to disturbances in Glasgow and Dundee. The police force reported that eight officers sustained minor injuries during a night marked by an unusually high level of violence.

Edinburgh Bonfire Night Disorder Sparks Violent Confrontation

Meanwhile, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) revealed that nine of its crews were targeted in attacks spanning an eight-hour period across the country.

In the Hay Avenue area of Niddrie, the police received a call at 16:40 GMT due to reports of “antisocial use of fireworks.” According to an official statement, law enforcement was actively pursuing several individuals suspected of supplying young people with fireworks and petrol bombs intended for targeting the police.

Images shared on social media depicted onlookers observing the violent incidents. The videos captured officers under a barrage of explosive projectiles, while teenagers congregated on a grassy area, some recording the events.

Around 50 youths, part of a larger assembly of both young people and adults, initially directed fireworks at vehicles and buildings before their actions escalated upon the arrival of law enforcement, as reported by the police.

Violent Incidents Erupt in Edinburgh, Dundee, and Glasgow on Bonfire Night

Although only a limited number of arrests occurred on that night, due to the “significant challenges” faced by officers, substantial evidence has been gathered. Authorities anticipate further arrests in the coming days as a result of their ongoing investigations.

In the Beauly Square area of Dundee, two police vehicles were reported damaged at approximately 18:55, as they were struck with bricks.

Around 21:00 in Glasgow, police officers responded to an incident involving two groups of youths engaged in fighting and hurling fireworks at each other in the Quarrywood Avenue vicinity of Barmulloch.

Across both Edinburgh and Glasgow, a total of eight officers suffered minor injuries.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs, who serves as the gold commander of Operation Moonbeam, expressed deep concern over the actions of a minority of individuals responsible for an “unacceptable and frankly, deplorable level of disorder that left communities in distress and resulted in injuries to police officers.”

He further highlighted the troubling nature of the disorder in Niddrie, emphasizing its extremely concerning aspect, particularly the belief that adults were actively encouraging and coordinating young people to target officers while they were performing their duties.

Firefighters Attacked During Bonfire Night Incidents Across Scotland

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) confirmed that its crews were subjected to attacks in various locations, including Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Blantyre in South Lanarkshire, and Blackburn in West Lothian.

Fortunately, no firefighters sustained injuries during these incidents. However, in West Lothian, one of the firefighting vehicles had its windscreen smashed by a brick and had to be taken out of service.

A spokesperson for the SFRS verified that these recent attacks followed four previously reported assaults on crews in Ayrshire and Edinburgh during the week leading up to Bonfire Night. Additionally, two more attacks occurred over the weekend in Troon and Glasgow.

Assistant Chief Officer Andy Watt expressed strong disapproval of the total of 15 attacks that transpired in the past week, deeming them “completely unacceptable.” He added, “Our staff should be able to carry out their duties without being subjected to such attacks. It is disheartening that individuals have attempted to harm firefighters and damage our firefighting equipment. 

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Public and Officials Condemn Unacceptable Behavior on Bonfire Night

This type of behavior not only hinders our crews in swiftly and safely resolving emergencies but also has the potential to affect our emergency service colleagues, including the police, who assist us on the scene to ensure the safety of our personnel.”

Cammy Day, the leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, expressed his deep dismay at the scenes in Niddrie, labeling them as “reckless behavior that endangers lives.” He emphasized that, like the majority of the community, he shared the sentiment of dismay and outrage over this inexcusable conduct.

Russell Findlay, the Scottish Conservative justice spokesman, condemned these attacks on police officers as cowardly, reckless, and dangerous. He underscored the importance of providing Police Scotland with the necessary resources to address such unruly individuals

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.