Seven arrested over Edinburgh bonfire night chaos

SEVEN youths have been arrested in connection with disorder on Bonfire Night after police raided addresses across the city as part of an investigation into chaotic scenes which left areas of Edinburgh 'looking like a war zone'.

Saturday, 16th December 2017, 6:00 am
Alistair Clark with his Audi that was set alight during the Bonfire Night rampage. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

A female police officer suffered serious burns after rowdy yobs discharged fireworks towards emergency services responding to call-outs from panicked residents in Drylaw, while vehicles in Craigentinny and Pilton were reduced to smouldering wrecks as youngsters ran riot on the evening of November 5.

Four males were charged with offences on the night, but seven others, all aged between 16 and 21, are now set to appear in court after officers carried out enforcement action at homes in Craigentinny, Drylaw and Leith on Friday morning.

Residents were left terrified in the incidents, with some going as far as to move from the area over safety fears.

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Chief Inspector Kevin McLean, Local Area Commander for North East Edinburgh, praised the work of locals who called in tips regarding the youngsters involved and warned the operation would continue until all perpetrators were caught.

He said: “The range of offences that we witnessed during Bonfire Night were totally unacceptable and left hard-working and law abiding members of our communities in a state of fear and alarm. Furthermore, when officers attended to assist the public, they were directly targeted and this will not be tolerated.”

“Our activity on Friday has been the culmination of weeks of intelligence gathering, planning and engagement with our relevant local partners.

“These arrests should send a very clear message that the North of Edinburgh, and the city as a whole is not a safe haven for those who look to cause mindless destruction and disorder.”

He added: “We will continue our investigations into the Bonfire Night incidents and if we identify you as being involved in any way, you can expect a visit from us in the near future.”

Fire crews responded to 57 separate calls in Edinburgh during the night, prompting calls at local and political level for more stringent measures to be put in place regarding the sale of fireworks.

Ash Denham, MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, said: “Police Scotland has been working diligently to identify perpetrators of violent and antisocial behaviour during this year’s Bonfire Night. I commend them for making arrests and holding those who caused much distress and damage to account.”

She continued: “There is still a strong public sentiment, particularly in my constituency of Edinburgh Eastern, for stricter regulations on fireworks and I am pleased that the Scottish Government’s Legal Affairs Minister has instructed policy officials to investigate the extent to which fireworks are posing dangers to communities.”

“I look forward to hearing results from this and associated recommendations for action in due course.”