Edinburgh police make 9 arrests amid Bonfire Night chaos

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Scenes of chaos unfolded across Edinburgh last night as fireworks yobs wrecked cars and targetted emergency services workers.

Officers made a total of nine arrests on Bonfire Night, 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.

READ MORE: Bonfire Night latest: Firefighters abused in Edinburgh park
Officers on patrol last night also 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.

But police have also praised the public and partner agencies for their support over the past few days, which has resulted in an overall reduction of incidents compared to last year.

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 willingness 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."

Police said that between Wednesday, October 31st and Monday, November 5th, 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, with the North West recording a 35% fall in antisocial behaviour during this evening.

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.

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

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair added that the deployment and use of our resources for this year's Bonfire Night was the culmination of a year of detailed planning between police, the City Council, the fire service and other partners.

He said that lessons will still be learned as part of the planning of next year's event.