Youths throw petrol bomb at Scotland police
Police vehicles were pelted with projectiles, including petrol bombs. PAUL FAITH/AFP

On Sunday 5 November, Guy Fawkes Night, several firefighters and eight police officers were reportedly injured by a group of youths in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow.

Last night, at around 5 p.m., a group of at least 80 youths gathered with petrol bombs in Niddrie, a suburban town in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh.

The group came together on Hay Avenue and conducted an attack on police officers. The behaviour was a repeat of an incident that occurred in the neighbourhood at the same time last year.

On Fireworks Night in 2022, a group of motorbike gangs terrorised the streets in Niddrie while fireworks were being thrown.

A large group of officers, almost one hundred, tended to the scene in riot gear after receiving a call from local residents.

Scotland Police Force told reporters that half of the group, around 50 people, were responsible for throwing fireworks, petrol bombs and other projectiles at several buildings and vehicles before officers arrived.

Shortly after they had arrived at the chaos, the youths targeted the officers with a bombardment of explosives.

The youths were called "thugs" who found it amusing to use "unprecedented levels of violence" against law enforcement officers.

This morning, Monday 6 November, Humza Yousaf, Scotland's First Minister, hit out at the group of young persons on social media.

In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, Yousaf wrote: "Disgraceful scenes of fireworks misuse across some areas of Scotland last night, particularly in Niddrie."

Speaking of the victims, Yousaf added: "I pay tribute to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland officers who should not be targeted and attacked for doing their job."

"Those responsible should feel the full force of the law," he warned.

The youths were called "thugs" who found it amusing to use "unprecedented levels of violence" against law enforcement officers.

Video footage of the scene showed police officers using riot shields to protect themselves from the pelting. The officers were also seen to be standing in front of vans with blue sirens flashing.

In other videos, shared by witnesses, sirens and loud bangs are heard.

While watching the violent scenes play out, one witness is heard saying: "Oh my God!"

The officers were forced to retreat as petrol bombs and fireworks were thrown towards them.

Eight firefighters were injured as a result of the attack.

Tim Mairs, the Assistant Chief Constable of Scotland Police, spoke to reporters about the assault.

"The overwhelming majority of Scotland enjoyed Bonfire Night safely and responsibly, but once again, a minority of individuals have been responsible for an unacceptable and frankly, disgusting level of disorder that left communities alarmed and police officers injured," he declared.

Speaking of the targeted attack on the police force, Mairs added: "The violent nature of the situation witnessed in the Niddrie area of Edinburgh is extremely concerning, not least because it is believed young people were being actively encouraged and coordinated by adults to target officers while they carried out their duties."

On Bonfire Night this year, there were more than 892 calls made to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) across the country.

The SFRS reported that between 3:30 p.m. and midnight, firefighters were deployed to more than 355 bonfires taking place across Scotland.

"Attacks on our firefighters are completely unacceptable," SFSR Assistant Chief Officer Andy Watts stated.

"Our staff should be able to carry out their role without being attacked. It is disappointing that people have tried to hurt firefighters and have damaged our appliances," he added.

Watts noted that the example set by rebellious groups, "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 are supporting us on scene to ensure the safety of our personnel".