Petrol bombs actually are illegal, despite Councillor Kate Campbell's fears – John McLellan

Planet killer that I am, I’ve had a petrol lawnmower for years because I got fed up wrangling with electric cables, so about once a year I visit a service station to fill up my cannister.

Petrol bombs are definitely illegal (Picture: Federico Parra/AFP via Getty Images)
Petrol bombs are definitely illegal (Picture: Federico Parra/AFP via Getty Images)

There are usually some empty wine or beer bottles in the glass recycling box and there is a bucket full of dusters in the cupboard under the stairs. The box of matches we keep for lighting midge-repelling candles in summer completes the kit; should I take it upon myself to mount civil insurrection in South Edinburgh I have all the components of a petrol bomb to hand, all legally and openly bought.

The rozzers aren’t about to feel my collar (I hope), but I presumed it would be different if I filled a bottle with petrol, stuffed a rag into the neck for a wick and popped out to start the revolution. Not according to SNP Councillor Kate Campbell who last week claimed that legislation doesn’t cover petrol bombs, and indeed they are not included in the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act passed last year.

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So, does that mean we can chuck Molotov cocktails with impunity? Not quite. Procurator fiscals could produce their own mixture involving the 1875 Explosives Act, the 1883 Explosive Substances Act and the 2015 Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations to seal my fate, all applicable in Scotland, not to mention criminal damage or attempted murder charges if I lobbed it at anyone or anything.

Fear not, Councillor Campbell, the law is on your side.