'Disgusting levels of disorder': Police petrol-bombed and fire crews attacked on Bonfire Night

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf condemned the 'disgusting levels of disorder'

Fire crews were attacked and eight police officers were injured in Bonfire Night disorder, which saw petrol bombs and fireworks thrown at riot police in Edinburgh.

Around 100 youths gathered on Hay Avenue in Niddrie just before 5pm on Sunday in a repeat of disorder seen last year in the neighbourhood.

Police say around 50 people were responsible for directing fireworks, petrol bombs and other projectiles at buildings, vehicles and officers.

Officers were also called to incidents in Dundee and Glasgow, with eight officers in Glasgow and Edinburgh injured on what police described as a night of “unprecedented levels of violence”.

At around 9.05pm officers were called to a report of around 20 youths fighting and throwing fireworks at each other within in the Quarrywood Avenue area of Barmulloch in Glasgow.

Four people, including a police officer, were taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary for treatment.

Meanwhile the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said there were nine attacks on its crews during an eight-hour period on Bonfire Night, which saw crews bombarded with fireworks and bricks.

No firefighters were injured – however, a fire engine in West Lothian had a windscreen smashed by a brick and had to be removed from operational service.

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs said while the majority of Scotland enjoyed Bonfire Night, “Police Scotland officers were subjected to unprecedented levels of violence.

“A minority of individuals have been responsible for an unacceptable and frankly, disgusting level of disorder that left communities alarmed and police officers injured.

“The level of disorder we faced was unacceptable and looking at the evidence we have already gathered, we don’t believe this incident was spontaneous.

"Although many of those involved were youths, there were undoubtedly adults involved in orchestrating that behaviour.

“We took a robust stance and I am proud of the courage, discipline and professionalism that officers showed in the face of the violence last night.

“A number of our officers sustained minor physical injuries, however we are also aware of the mental impact that dealing with such significant levels of violence/disorder can have and will continue to support all officers affected.  

"Nobody deserves to be injured in this way for doing their job. An emergency worker is also someone’s son, daughter, husband or wife."

Drone footage from Niddrie showed a line of police officers with riot shields standing in front of vans with blue lights flashing.

A mob of youths gathered on grass in front of them and began throwing pyrotechnics.

The police made a retreat as a petrol bomb hit the ground in front of them and fireworks exploded. The assault continued, with petrol bombs and fireworks forcing police to shuffle backwards.

The officers then ran at the assailants, in footage filmed from a nearby sports centre.

Police Scotland said there were a small number of arrests made with further arrests anticipated to follow in the coming days as investigations continue.

In 2018, Police Scotland set up Operation Moonbeam to tackle Bonfire Night disorder.

Last year in Niddrie, motorbike gangs terrorised the neighbourhood on Bonfire Night while fireworks were thrown on the ground.

Andy Watt, SFRS Assistant Chief Officer, said: “Attacks on our firefighters are completely unacceptable.

“Our staff should be able to carry out their role without being attacked. It is disappointing that people have tried to hurt firefighters and have damaged our appliances."

Incidents of violence also occurred in Greater Manchester where tactical aid units repeatedly had fireworks launched at them while attending a scene in the Abbey Hey area of the city.

Officers reported that group of "around 30 people" were involved in launching fireworks at emergency service workers.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service said: "Sadly, we've been dealing with a fire involving multiple wheelie bins and timber in Little Lever, and our crew has come under attack from people throwing bricks."

"Our staff work tirelessly to protect others, they do not come to work to be attacked."

Police Scotland has set up a Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) for the disorder in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which allows members of the public to send information directly to the police.

In addition, anyone with any information that can assist officers is asked to contact Police Scotland via 101 or make a call to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...