Scottish Bonfire Night revellers urged to act responsibly

Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham has urged people across Scotland to enjoy November 5 safely and responsibly. Picture: TSPL
Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham has urged people across Scotland to enjoy November 5 safely and responsibly. Picture: TSPL
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Anyone who puts lives in danger using fireworks will face “robust action”, officials warned, after last year’s Bonfire Night saw missiles thrown at emergency crews.

Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham has urged people across Scotland to enjoy November 5 safely and responsibly.

It follows a number of incidents last year where Police Scotland officers and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crew members were injured by projectile fireworks.

Ms Denham said: “The safety of the public is paramount and we need to ensure a selfish minority do not spoil the celebrations for others.

“The use of fireworks as a means of inflicting injury on individuals, including members of our emergency services, is completely unacceptable and illegal. Robust action will be taken against anyone who puts lives at risk.

“I would urge members of the public to report any criminal or anti-social behaviour to Police Scotland or their local council, or otherwise through Crimestoppers or their Neighbourhood Watch.”

The Scottish Government has been working with Police Scotland and the SFRS to prepare for this year’s celebrations.

Last year, crews responded to around 330 incidents involving bonfires between 5pm and 10pm on November 5, while control rooms dealt with more than 800 calls about them.

There were reports of firefighters having missiles and fireworks thrown at them at 11 of the incidents, as they worked to keep people safe.

Lewis Ramsay, SFRS director of response and resilience, said: “These firefighters are your father, mother, brother or sister - someone’s family.

“It beggars belief when I hear that they have either been physically assaulted or verbally abused when trying to assist their communities.

“This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues, including the police when they have to escort us at the scene.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Paul Anderson added: “A small group of individuals were responsible for localised incidents of disorder, which included the targeting of emergency services personnel. Such behaviour is unacceptable.

“To assist our divisions, a range of specialist resources will be at their disposal to deal with any incidents which arise, and officers across the country are continuing to liaise with relevant partners.”