Ch Supt Kenny MacDonald: We'll find the Bonfire Night yobs

I would like to begin my column by once again condemning the reckless and criminal conduct of a minority of young people in the Muirhouse and Craigentinny areas, as well as other parts of the city, over the Bonfire Night weekend.

Monday, 13th November 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:06 am
Chief Supt Kenny MacDonald is Divisional Commander for Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Not only did these individuals destroy the property of the hard-working members of the local community and cause fear and alarm for residents and business owners, they also directly targeted my officers, who were on the ground trying to keep people safe.

A dedicated member of the Drylaw policing team was injured when a firework was thrown at her, while other officers were subject to unacceptable levels of abuse and violence while trying to do their job.

We continue to work closely with a range of partner agencies to address the issues that arose during this weekend and identify everyone involved in the various offences that occurred.

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What should have been an enjoyable night for families and communities was unfortunately ruined by a number of young people who acted in a totally reckless and unacceptable manner. This is despite a significant number of additional officers being deployed in Edinburgh following unacceptable scenes last year.

Many of these young people were in possession of fireworks despite their young age. This is clearly a concern and their subsequent actions left, what should have been a night for families, one where my officers were confronted and attacked.

Passing on or purchasing fireworks for young people is highly irresponsible, places them at risk of injury and could also leading to being charged with an offence by the police.

Rest assured, the disorder that we witnessed over Bonfire Night and the injury to one of our team will not be tolerated.

My officers do not come to their work to be attacked when trying help the public.

As a community in Edinburgh we need to seriously reflect on the unacceptable scenes that took place on Guy Fawkes night. Also speaking now to those of us who are parents I would ask you to consider what lessons we are teaching our children if attacking the police with fireworks and bottles, burning other peoples cars, threatening and attacking fire service crews as we have now seen over the last two years goes unchallenged.

I cannot and will not accept that this is the type of Edinburgh we want to live in and through our ongoing partnership work, partiuclarly with the Stronger North initiative, we want to improve the quality of life for all those living and working in the region.

We need you all to stand with us in sending a strong a message that we, as a city, will not put up with this happening again.

I need your help to identify those responsible and I urge you to contact 101 or a local officer if you have any information that can assist.

On a more positive note, we are now moving towards the festive period, which means the city will soon be busy with people doing their Christmas shopping, enjoying nights out with friends, family and co-workers and celebrating the New Year at the world famous Street Party.

We’ve been working closely with the city of Edinburgh Council and the event organisers for the Christmas and New Year celebrations to ensure we have appropriate resources in place in the key areas of Edinburgh over the coming months.

In addition to a high-visibility police presence throughout the city centre, we will also be utilising our social media messages to deliver a range of useful crime prevention and safety messages as part of our festive policing campaign - Operation Winter City, which will launch on December 1.

Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald is Divisional Commander for Edinburgh