‘Reckless’ youths aim fireworks and petrol bombs at riot police in Bonfire Night stand-off

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Russell Findlay branded the youths ‘thugs’

Alex Ross
Sunday 05 November 2023 23:26 GMT

Police petrol-bombed in Edinburgh Bonfire Night disorder

“Reckless” youths hurled fireworks and petrol bombs at riot police during a night of violence in Edinburgh.

Around 100 youths gathered in Niddrie, Edinburgh, just before 5pm on Sunday in a repeat of disorder seen last year in the neighbourhood.

Petrol bombs were lobbed at police officers, who were subjected to repeated attacks during the stand-off, before they ran at the assailants.

Last year, motorbike gangs terrorised the neighbourhood on Bonfire Night while fireworks were thrown on the ground.

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Russell Findlay branded the youths “thugs”, and council leader Cammy Day warned they would be prosecuted.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Police in attendance are currently being subjected to attacks involving fireworks, petrol bombs and other projectiles – and the public is asked to avoid the area while the response is ongoing.

“Specialist public order resources, deployed as part of Operation Moonbeam, are currently supporting local officers in the Hay Avenue area of Edinburgh, following reports of a large group of youths involved in the antisocial use of fireworks within the area.

Mr Day said: “I’m appalled to see the scenes in Niddrie this evening. We’ve been clear that this sort of conduct is unacceptable.

“We’ve been working throughout the year in our communities to mitigate Bonfire Night-related disruption so it is extremely disappointing to see a minority of people behaving in this way.

“This reckless behaviour endangers lives and, like the majority, I share in their dismay and upset at this disgraceful behaviour.

“We are working closely to ensure the community are safe and appeal to anyone who can help identify those responsible to contact police so they can be dealt with appropriately by the justice system.

“Our emergency services have our full support and do a fantastic job of keeping us all safe.”

Mr Findlay said: “Such attacks on police officers are cowardly, reckless and dangerous. Police Scotland need sufficient resources to tackle these thugs.”

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