Meadows incidents: Petition launched in wake of mass brawls which left police officer in hospital demands tighter park controls
An online petition has been launched in the wake of weekend trouble at the Meadows, which saw three people charged after violence broke out amidst gatherings of youths.
On Saturday, an Edinburgh police officer was injured while trying break up a fight and was taken to hospital.
Video footage of the violent scenes was widely shared across Twitter and Facebook, and shows brawls breaking out – including one incident where a glass bottle is smashed over someone’s head.
Police appear on the scene to try and break it up, and appear to make some arrests, pushing people to the ground.
Police Scotland said "thousands" of people had gathered at the park to enjoy the sunny weather – but they condemned “blatant anti-social behaviour” after social media footage emerged of young men fighting and throwing debris.
Officers were called to a series of incidents over the course of the day and told “hundreds" to move on.
Now, a petition has been launched in a desperate bid to see tighter control in the Meadows.
The petition, launched by Linda Bremner, has received 541 signatures within hours of the plea going online and the numbers are increasing.
It reads: 'Increasingly the Meadows and Links areas are being used to host mass gatherings during lockdown. Thousands of people congregate to drink, bbq and party throughout the day and night.
'When the sun begins to set and people have drank too much, rubbish is discarded where they’ve sat, public urination/defecation and fighting commence.
'The capacity and location of toilet, waste disposal is lacking, so to is the presence of sufficient public wardens and Police to manage the crowds.
'Littering, public urination/defecation and violence are all illegal acts and require to be brought under control and within our legislation.
'I raise this petition to gain support for your action to bring order and decency back to the area, through crowd control and adequate provision of facilities.'
Anyone wishing to sign the petition can visit do so here.
Speaking in the wake of Saturday’s scenes, Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor of Edinburgh Police Division said: “We are aware of the extent of the disorder seen in the Meadows this weekend and we absolutely condemn this.
“Officers were called to a number of incidents over the course of the day and responded quickly and professionally in the face of some blatant anti-social behaviour.
“Hundreds of people were moved on or dispersed from the area.
“Three people have so far been charged in connection with anti-social behaviour and a serious assault, and we are working to trace others involved in various incidents.
“In particular, we’re eager for anyone who saw a 22-year-old man being attacked around 7.30pm in the Middle Meadow Walk area and also a 17-year-old man being seriously injured in the park around 6.40pm, to come forward.
“Anyone who witnessed these incidents, who has seen information online or has footage which may be relevant is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 1635 of 3 April, 2021.”