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15 arrests after fireworks and missiles thrown at police in Leeds Bonfire Night disorder

Bonfire Night disorder in Harehills, Leeds Credit: Radio Sangam Huddersfield

An investigation is underway in Leeds after police officers armed with riot shields had fireworks and missiles thrown at them on Bonfire Night.

A helicopter was sent to the scene and a total of 15 males aged 11 to 23 have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

Officers were responding to an emergency call in the Harehills area of the city just after 8pm. They were confronted by "a group of youths" throwing fireworks, missiles and bricks.

Four officers received injuries during the incidents, two were treated at hospital but none were seriously injured.

A number of local shops and police vehicles were also damaged,

The force condemned the behaviour with the following statement:

The behaviour witnessed last night was completely unacceptable and I know that all members of the Harehills community are as appalled as we are at what occurred.

“We already had detailed partnership planning in place to deal with any such incidents, and this allowed us to respond quickly and bring matters to a peaceful conclusion without any significant impact on the safety of people in the area.

“There is absolutely no suggestion that this was the result of any tension in the community or animosity towards the police. This appears to have been about a hooligan element of local youths seeing an opportunity on Bonfire Night to engage in firework-related disorder on a large-scale.

“Police officers were deliberately targeted and injured during these incidents and that is not something we can ever accept. We are looking after their welfare and will make sure we do everything we can to identify the people responsible for those attacks and take appropriate action.

“I would ask that anyone in the community who has information that could assist our investigation show their support for the Harehills community by passing that on to us.”

– Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter