An Edinburgh police officer has been treated for ‘serious burns’ after being attacked with a firework on November 5, Bonfire Night. Throughout the night as Edinburgh’s emergency services dealt with various incidents, witnesses on social media described areas of the city as comparable to a ‘war zone’.
Whilst many enjoyed the colourful festivities on show during Bonfire Night, residents of the Muirhouse and Craigentinny districts were left filling in reports of balaclava-clad youths setting fire to cars, with these same groups thereafter proceeding to attack fire response units upon their arrival to the scene.
One local resident took to Twitter to remark: ‘’whilst the fireworks are very pretty, it does not make me any less terrified walking through Muirhouse with people setting them off in any direction.’’
The female officer, whose injuries are non life-threatening, was responding to a call after a gang started a motor blaze against public safety officers in Muirhouse on Sunday evening.
Elsewhere a further two firefighters were attacked by a gang of drunk youths whilst out on a call in Dalkeith, however, neither required hospital treatment.
In total, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) announced that it responded to 330 bonfire related incidents between 5pm and 10pm on Sunday night, of which 11 incidents saw fireworks thrown at firefighters as they worked to ensure public safety.
As part of the many ongoing investigations in response to last-weeks violence, four teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 from Craigentinny have since been criminally charged with vehicular arson and for firebombing emergency response units.
In wake of the spate of attacks, superintendent Mandy Paterson of Police Scotland told the press, “My thoughts are with the officer who was injured last night.
“As always, we had additional officers on duty to deal with any additional firework or bonfire-related incidents over the last week and sadly, the behaviour of a few individuals has undermined what should be an enjoyable time for our communities.”
Likewise, Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsey, director of response for the SFRS, said, “attacks on emergency responders are completely unacceptable and I am sure the public would be outraged by incidents where their firefighters have been targeted while working to protect people and property.’’
For anybody who can provide information to help the police with their search for any known perpetrators, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or alternatively ring Police Scotland on the 101 line before quoting reference 3833 for Muirhouse or 4115 for Craigentinny regarding incidents for Sunday November 5.
Image: Nikki Perch @Flickr