Police planning ‘proportionate’ response to Bonfire Night carnage

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ONE of the city’s top cops has warned that officers will not tolerate any repeat of the kinds of Bonfire Night madness that left parts of Edinburgh ablaze and a service officer badly injured.

Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh Division, said they would apply “proportionate response” where necessary this weekend, a full week after Craigentinny, Pilton and Muirhouse were left in flames.

Alistair Clark's Audi was set alight during the carnage in North Edinburgh on Bonfire Night. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Alistair Clark's Audi was set alight during the carnage in North Edinburgh on Bonfire Night. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

And he repeated calls for locals to name and shame those who brought terror to their community.

He said: “The scenes that were witnessed across Edinburgh on Bonfire Night were completely unacceptable, and we will not tolerate this type of offending in our city.

“While our policing plan for the city is dynamic and can change, we will have a proportionate response in place this weekend and officers will be alert to community concerns regarding antisocial behaviour. My officers are dedicated to finding those responsible for last weekend’s criminality, however if we are to hold the perpetrators to account we need the support of the local community.

“I would again appeal to any members of the public who may have any information regarding these incidents to please contact us. You can do so by calling officers on 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

It comes as a motion for the Scottish Parliament to investigate “malicious” attacks on emergency services personnel has gained cross-party support after it was raised by an Edinburgh MSP.

More than a dozen ministers have so far backed Liberal Democrat Alex Cole-Hamilton’s call for greater control over the sale and distribution of fireworks.

Mr Cole-Hamilton is now calling for a crackdown on the “antisocial” use of unlicensed fireworks and wants the Scottish Government to intervene.

He said: “It’s absolutely unconscionable that what should be a fun and good-natured evening has been used by a malicious minority as an excuse to assault our hardworking emergency services.

“The officer hurt on Sunday night is part of the team of hundreds of emergency services staff working to protect our communities from harm. They deserve far better.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton added: “Fireworks are regulated at a UK level, however, there is more that we can do to ensure that the antisocial use of unlicensed fireworks is clamped down on. That’s why I am calling on the Scottish Government to investigate and address the antisocial use of unlicensed fireworks.”

Last weekend youths rampaged through the streets of the city in a campaign of destruction.

Residents described scenes of “devastation” as cars in Craigentinny were set ablaze and fire crews in Dalkeith and Blackburn were forced to retreat as they were attacked when they responded to separate calls at a farm and a skate park. Fire chiefs confirmed they responded to more than 100 calls across the Lothians including 57 in Edinburgh.