Fireworks gang attack Drylaw Police Station

Marauding youths launched fireworks at a police station – as officers decked in riot gear were called to quell the disorder.

Thursday, 6th November 2014, 3:00 pm
Drylaw Police Station was targeted. Picture: Esme Allen

Dozens of youngsters laid siege to Drylaw Police Station in West Pilton late on Wednesday, with 20 officers drafted in from the city centre to bring the situation under control.

One resident spoke of her shock as she watched fireworks bounce off police vans and into neighbouring gardens, while another described the area as “sounding like Baghdad”.

But community leaders today insisted they were “not giving up” on a district troubled by a recent crime wave – culminating in the stabbing of 37-year-old Chinese takeaway owner Jie Yu last month.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Witnesses said the police station was set upon by around 20 youths wielding “industrial strength” fireworks.

One resident said: “The gangs just descended on the station and were throwing fireworks into the car park. It was like a siege and the cops were trying to keep them at bay.

“Cops dressed in riot gear turned up too and eventually the kids all disappeared once they got bored.”

A neighbour, who lives next door to the station, said: “I heard them go off – it was loud. I thought, ‘Oh God, what was that?’. It was like an explosion.”

Another local resident said her daughter had been targeted earlier in the day as youths took to the streets armed with fireworks.

She said: “Loads of my neighbours had rockets thrown directly at them and their kids – one hit off my daughter.”

Willie Black, secretary of West Pilton and West Granton Community Council, said the incident was “disturbing” but insisted the area was turning itself around.

He said: “The vast majority of people in this area get on with their lives, working hard for their families and getting involved, and that’s the kind of community they want. It’s been bad, but it’s going to get better. We’re going to have relapses in behaviour, and people will say nothing has changed – but lots of things have changed.

“We want to see people thinking this is a great area to live in. We are not giving up.”

Fire crews across Scotland responded to 1100 incidents on Wednesday night, including over 500 bonfires. In Edinburgh, there were 354 call-outs, including 99 bonfires.

Chief Inspector Sara Buchanan, from Police Scotland said: “Such behaviour will not be tolerated and further investigation is being carried out to identify those responsible.

“In North Edinburgh we are committed to tackling these issues through our Stronger North initiative, and we will take action whenever we receive a report of a crime.”