Public thanked after Edinburgh Bonfire Night policing operation

Published 06 November 2018

Police in Edinburgh have praised the support of the public and partner organisations following a successful Halloween and Bonfire Night policing operation.

Between Wednesday 31st October and Monday 5th November, reported antisocial behaviour in the city fell from 747 incidents in 2017, to 552 incidents in 2018. This equates to 195 fewer calls and a reduction of 26%.

Overall offences involving fireworks within the Capital also fell by 11% in comparison to the previous year, meaning 28 less incidents arose.

Reports of small disorder, disturbances and reckless behaviour were reported, primarily in the North West and North East of Edinburgh, with small pockets of antisocial behaviour arising in the South West and South East.

Seven vehicles parked in the West Pilton area sustained various levels of damage and this is now being investigated by officers at Drylaw Police Station.

In the North East, a 53% reduction in calls relating to Bonfire Night offences were received on Monday 5th November, with the North West recording a 35% fall in antisocial behaviour during this evening, in comparison with Bonfire Night 2017.

Nine arrests were made on the evening, with eight relating to culpable and reckless conduct and breaches of the peace, and a further on an outstanding warrant. Three youths were also charged for the illegal possession of fireworks.

Officers on patrol last night successfully invoked 13 dispersal zone warnings across the North East of the city to appropriately address issues relating to large groups of youths gathering and prevent any large-scale disturbances arising in these areas.

While there were a number of reported incidents where attempts were made to target police and other emergency service personnel, no officers were injured and no police vehicles were damaged during the evening.

Comparitively, Sunday 4th November 2018 saw 56 reported ASB incidents and 19 fireworks offences, compared to 157 and 146 respectively for Sunday 5th November 2017. This equates to a 64% reduction for antisocial behaviour and an almost 87% reduction for crimes involving fireworks.

The 4th November 2017 resulted in 106 antisocial behaviour calls made to police and 25 reports of fireworks offences. The 4th November this year saw 56 calls made to police for antisocial behaviour and 19 for fireworks incidents. This reflects a 47% and 24% respective reduction for these offences.

Most significantly, all incidents within Edinburgh were dealt with by local resources, with no requirment to deploy Operation Moonbeam's national and specialist resources.

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh said: "Firstly, I want to thank the public for their overwhelming support of our policing operation over the past week. There has been a genuine sense of community spirit by the public and a real willigness to help us prevent Edinburgh experiencing mass disorder over Bonfire Night.

"To those within our communities who did experience any form of criminality linked to Bonfire Night, I want to assure you that all of these incidents are being robustly investigated and if those responsible are not already in custody, we will be doing all we can to bring them to justice.

"The deployment and use of our resources for Bonfire Night 2018 was the culmination of a year of detailed planning between police, City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other key partners. However, there are undoubtedly still lessons to be learned and we will now take on board our observations from this year as we begin planning for next year.

"It is really important to note as well, that as a single force, Edinburgh Division had access to a range of specialist capabilities and officers that were, thankfully, not required. The police response to all incidents during the Bonfire Night weekend and on the evening of Monday 5th November were all dealt with by local officers from across the city."

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