How to tackle street disorder

A burnt out car on the streets in the aftermath of Bonfire Night trouble in Edinburgh last year. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
A burnt out car on the streets in the aftermath of Bonfire Night trouble in Edinburgh last year. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
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Trouble reared its head again on Bonfire Night.

Fireworks were fired at cars and emergency service workers pelted with missiles in neighbourhoods across the Lothians. The story was similar in towns and cities up and down the country.

For those caught up in some serious disturbances, it must have been a very frightening experience - and we are lucky not to be reporting today on casualties in hospital.

That said, the violence which marred the night was, for the vast majority of people, far less than last year.

Following a co-ordinated police and council initiative, across the Lothians, there was a dramatic fall in the number of incidents reported.

The night could hardly be described as peaceful - especially for the 999 crews - but it was much closer to being that than last year.

Set in that context the plan to bus potential troublemakers out of the city to take part in adventure activies has to be regarded as a great success.

Solving crime and tackling disorder isn’t always about wielding a big stick. The successful work to cut down on knife crime in Glasgow - which is now being copied in London - recognised the need to offer opportunities and attractive alternatives to young people who were falling into a life of crime.