Meadows 'summit' to be held on Friday as concerns grow over shocking weekend scenes
A ‘Meadows summit’ is set to be held on Friday, as concerned community leaders look to find a solution to the ‘appalling behaviour’ - including violence, littering and public urination - seen at the weekend.
Daniel Johnson, the Labour candidate for the Edinburgh Southern seat in May’s Scottish parliament election, and Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, are hosting an online meeting on Friday April 6 in order to discuss the antisocial behaviour and violence that occured over Easter bank holiday.
On Saturday, an Edinburgh police officer was taken to hospital with facial injuries after responding to reports of mass gatherings and fighting at the beauty spot.
A video, shared widely on social media, was taken by a Scottish rapper on his Instagram @jaad_rapper, and shows the dramatic scenes that include police breaking up the fights by wrestling people to the ground.
At one point, a man is smashed over the head with a glass bottle by someone he had been fighting with.
Three people have now been charged in connection with anti-social behaviour and a serious assault, and Police Scotland is appealing to anyone who witnessed other violent incidents in the park to come forward with information.
In particular, they are looking to speak to anyone who saw a 22-year-old man being attacked at about 19:30 in the Middle Meadow Walk or a 17-year-old man being seriously injured in the park around 18:40.
Now, community leaders, police, councillors, and members of the public are being invited to attend a virtual meeting at 12pm on Friday.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Johnson said: “The events at the weekend were the last straw for the many people that live locally.
“Right the way through the first and second lockdowns, people living in and around the Meadows have had to put up with pretty appalling behaviour.
“The Meadow themselves have been strewn with rubbish and litter, after people have been partying and clearly not abiding by the rules, and some people are having to put up with uman sewage because people are using back walls and lanes in the absence of public toilets.
“The point of the meeting really is to look at what needs to be done to put this right because frankly, people living locally have been putting up with too much for too long.”
Alex Orr, an SNP list candidate for the Lothian region, first floated the idea of the ‘Meadows summit’ after personally witnessing the chaotic scenes over the weekend.
Mr Orr said: “I am delighted to see conversations beginning to happen on this and am aware the council are similarly looking at implementing a meeting.
“Scenes in the Meadows witnessed at the weekend can simply not happen again.
“There is a lot of experience both locally and with other organisations, including those working with children and young people, who can look to deliver solutions to try and address this. Issues around toilet provision, bins, park wardens, local outlets selling alcohol to young people, and how the police address these matters are clearly potential items of discussion.
“Local people want action now, not in several months’ time.”
People wishing to attend the meeting can can find more details on how to join by visiting danieljohnson.org.uk