100 riot cops in flame-proof gear to patrol Edinburgh and Lothians on Bonfire Night

Police chiefs get tough with potential troublemakers to prevent mayhem

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 5:55 pm

UP to 100 riot cops will be out on patrol in Edinburgh and surrounding areas tonight to crackdown on any Bonfire Night mayhem.

The specialist officers in vans will bolster colleagues as police chiefs get tough with troublemakers.Other measures include the enforcement of no-go areas and potential ringleaders identified through intelligence.

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A car was driven onto a bonfire during widespread trouble in 2017

“Public order officers in protective carriers in flame proof gear and other protection will be on the ground.”

The specialist units will be split into four mobile teams able to quickly respond to any trouble between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"I want everyone who has guardianship of young people to have a frank conversation with them"

Meanwhile, officers will patrol seven dispersion zones across the Capital between 2pm and midnight.

Under antisocial behaviour laws, they can move-on any groups of two or more people and arrest them if they refuse or return within 24 hours.

Under-siege residents cowered in their homes in 2017 as cars were torched and emergency workers attacked by up to 50 youths with fireworks and rocks in Restalrig and Craigentinny.

The dispersal zones cover areas of Moredun, Gorgie and Loganlea. They also encompass Saughton, Muirhouse, Portobello and West Pilton.

And yesterday police joined firefighters, rangers and volunteers to cut back gorse in Holyrood Park to prevent it being torched.

Assistant Chief Constable Kenny MacDonald said: "I want everyone who has guardianship of young people to have a frank conversation with them about the consequences associated with getting involved with violence and disorder.”