Edinburgh Bonfire Night: Police officers treated for head injury and glass in eye after brick attack

Chaotic bonfire night in Edinburgh sees streets locked down and police attacked with petrol bombs and fireworks

A number of people have been arrested after a night of mayhem in Edinburgh, Police Scotland has said. Members of the public, police, and firefighters were targeted by youths hurling fireworks on Saturday night (November 5) –with the Niddrie area placed under lockdown.

Around 100 youths hurled fireworks at members of the public, police officers and vehicles just before 7pm in Marischal Road, Niddrie, police said.The window of a fire engine was smashed at the scene but no one was reported as harmed. In the same area at around 8.40pm, a police vehicle was attacked with bricks and its window smashed. An officer suffered a cut to their lip as a result, police said.

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Meanwhile in Duddingston, youths hurled petrol bombs at a number of police vehicles, Police Scotland said. There were also incidents of roads being barricaded by the suspects, but no injuries were reported.

Police officers and emergency services workers were attacked in the Bonfire Night carnage in Edinburgh

Over in Sighthill, officers were attacked by youths who smashed their vehicle’s windows with bricks. One officer suffered a head injury which required stitches, while another received treatment for glass in their eye, police said.

And in Ferry Road Drive, people threw bricks at a police vehicle at around 7.30pm, Police Scotland said. They then turned on public order officers who arrived at the scene, damaging the windscreen of their car with a brick.

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Later that night, firefighters attempting to put out a wheelie bin fire on Ferry Road Drive were attacked with fireworks and had to withdraw. Public Order officers attended, police said, but were threatened and fireworks thrown at them by a number of youths, who were also armed with scaffolding poles and a baseball bat.

Youths were also reported to have thrown fireworks at members of the public and at Drylaw Police Station. No injuries were reported, police said, and the building was not damaged.

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Eight people were arrested across Scotland as a result of the mayhem, Police Scotland said, with incidents also breaking out in Glasgow. A further 15 people were dispersed from “dispersal zones” and further inquiries are being made to identify more suspects over the coming days and weeks, police said.

In total, 483 calls were received relating to fireworks offences on Saturday night. Police said this is a reduction on the 581 incidents recorded the previous year and reflects the “positive downward trend in crimes” that have occurred over the past five years.

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‘Blatant disregard for the safety of the public’

Assistant chief constable Tim Mairs 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.

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“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.

“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.

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“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.”

He asked anyone who has information relating to the offences last night to contact police via 101.

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