Night of unrest as emergency services attacked with fireworks and bricks

Police said the majority of incidents took place in Edinburgh, with officers suffering head injuries during attacks.

Twelve arrested as emergency services attacked with fireworks, petrol bombs and bricks on Bonfire Night STV News

Twelve people have been arrested following unrest on Bonfire Night which saw emergency services attacked with bricks, petrol bombs and fireworks.

Police said the majority of serious incidents occurred in Edinburgh, where members of the public, firefighters and police officers were targeted by youths.

Three officers required medical attention after their vehicles were smashed with bricks, with one treated for a head injury which required stitches, another for glass in their eye and a third for a cut lip. 

It comes as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said crews were attacked on five occasions on Saturday evening while attending more than 350 bonfires. 

Firefighters were attacked by 20 youths with fireworks following a call out to an illegal bonfire on Langside Street in Clydebank. A police vehicle suffered minor damage and a man was arrested for assault and culpable and reckless conduct.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh, around 100 youths threw fireworks at members of the public and vehicles on Marischal Road prior to 7pm. A fire engine sustained a smashed window during the unrest. 

On Ferry Road Drive, police were attacked by a group throwing bricks at their vehicle around 7.35pm during a patrol, which resulted in a damaged windscreen. 

A Farmfoods store was broken into in Niddrie during unrest on Bonfire NightSTV News

In Drylaw, firefighters were targeted with fireworks while attempting to extinguish a wheelie bin fire on Ferry Road Drive. Officers who attended the scene were subjected to threats and also attacked with fireworks by youths armed with scaffolding poles and a baseball bat. 

Youths also targeted members of the public and Drylaw Police Station with fireworks.

In the Niddrie area of the city, an officer sustained a minor cut to their lip after bricks were thrown at a police vehicle which resulted in a smashed window. 

A Farmfoods store in the area was also targeted, with windows smashed and items strewn across the shop floor.

Two officers were hospitalised following an attack in Sighthill, when youths threw bricks at a police vehicle resulting in smashed windows. Both officers were taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for treatment, with one suffering a head injury that required stitches, while the other needed treatment for glass in their eye.

Meanwhile in Duddingston, petrol bombs were thrown at police vehicles by a number of youths, with roads also barricaded. 

And in Glasgow, a man was detained by security staff at the OVO Hydro after throwing a flare outside the venue. Following police enquiries, two people were arrested in connection with this matter.

Assistant chief constable Tim Mairs, gold commander for Operation Moonbeam said: “Our initial analysis of the incidents arising on Bonfire Night show that, for the overwhelming majority of the country, people enjoyed the occasion safely and responsibly.

“However, in some areas, particularly Edinburgh, various individuals have shown blatant disregard for the safety of the public and the emergency services and have actively targeted police officers and firefighters during the course of their duties.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I want to make it abundantly clear that considerable follow-up inquiry will be conducted in relation to all of these incidents, utilising all resources at our disposal to identify those responsible and bring them to justice. Do not think that just because you evaded police on the night, that we won’t be knocking on your door in the near future.

“I would ask anyone who has information relating to the offences observed last night to contact police via 101 so we can investigate appropriately.

“What the events of last night demonstrate to me is the importance of having a robust frontline policing service that can be readily supported by national and specialist colleagues when required. Similarly, working in partnership with other emergency colleagues and local authorities is equally important to ensuring we are deploying the correct level of resource to the right areas at the right time.

“All of those who were on duty during Bonfire Night showed exceptional professionalism and dedication to protecting communities from harm during extremely difficult and challenging circumstances. I am grateful for all of their efforts.”

In total, police said they received 483 calls relating to fireworks offences on Bonfire Night, around 100 less than in 2021. 

Alongside the arrests, a further 15 people were dispersed from dispersal zones and further inquiries to identify more suspects will take place over the coming days and weeks, police said. 

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