Edinburgh Meadows violence: How council missed a chance to act before trouble broke out – John McLellan

The violent scenes on The Meadows last weekend were more like 1980s football hooliganism than Edinburgh in the springtime, but trouble is never far away when young men and drink mix without any restraining influence.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 7:00 am
Huge crowds of boozy teenagers gathered at the Meadows in Edinburgh were dispersed by police (Picture: Anna Koslerova/SWNS.com)
Huge crowds of boozy teenagers gathered at the Meadows in Edinburgh were dispersed by police (Picture: Anna Koslerova/SWNS.com)

Usually reserved to the small hours outside late clubs and bars, the wider public rarely sees such graphic images of naked thuggery in broad daylight.

Most shocking of all was a coward smashing a bottle on the back of a man’s head, and it could just as easily have been a knife and the outcome catastrophic.

The Meadows has become a magnet for violent youths and an overwhelming police presence is needed to deter further trouble, and as Tier 4 rules mean no outdoor drinking, so officers have the power to confiscate booze when it is being openly consumed, and not just from the hordes of underage drinkers.

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If the little big men knew there was a high likelihood of their carry-outs ending up in a big skip, as they used to do outside football and rugby grounds, they might be less inclined to congregate.

And the council? Administration councillors have been wringing their hands as usual about how dreadful is all is, yet in June when Conservative councillor Jo Mowat called for a report into how more action could be taken it was voted down by the SNP, Labour and Greens. And don’t forget they also axed funding for community police officers.

The reasons for the violence are complex, but the council could have done more. Instead, it did nothing.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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