Police Scotland’s commitment to providing local divisions with additional specialist support over Bonfire Night has resulted in a reduction in firework-related crime across the country.
Operation Moonbeam was launched in 2018 following unprecedented levels of disorder throughout Scotland, including a rise in incidents where police and other emergency services were targeted.
Public Order resources were devoted to each region of the country and were able to be called upon by Commanders to support conventional policing teams, should serious criminality involving fireworks arise.
A significant reduction in offending was observed in 2018 and a similar downward trend has now been seen this year.
On Monday 4th November 2019, a total of 73 firework-related incidents were reported in Scotland, which is down from 164 the previous year. During this time, Moonbeam resources were deployed to assist local teams, primarily in the West of the country, in dealing with a number of low-level antisocial behaviour offences.
Throughout Tuesday 5th November 2019, Police Scotland received 667 reports of incidents involving fireworks. Last year’s Bonfire Night saw 738 calls made to police.
Despite the positive reduction in offending, a small number of serious incidents still arose in the West and East of the country. Between 4th and 5th November, incidents of people throwing fireworks were reported in the Greater Glasgow area, including Annette Street and Drumchapel.
These reports included cars and buildings being targeted, though, thankfully, no one was injured.
Four men were arrested in connection with these incidents and one male was arrested for a warrant offence.
Assistant Chief Constable Kenny MacDonald, Commander for Operation Moonbeam said: “While I am delighted that firework-related incidents have fallen across the country, in comparison to the previous year, I want to assure our communities that we will not become complacent in our efforts to reduce these incidents further next year.
“While the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland chose to enjoy Bonfire Night at an approved display, or responsibly discharge fireworks at their homes, there is still a worrying minority of individuals who think it is acceptable to use fireworks to cause disorder on our street.
“Let me make it clear, this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
“I am pleased to report that we have received no reports of police officers or other emergency service personnel being injured over the past couple of evenings, however, there have still been some instances where police vehicles, fire engines and ambulances have been targeted.
“A number of arrests for the various incidents, which took place, have already been made and local policing teams will now progress inquiries to identify those involved in firework-related crime.
“We are committed to keeping the public, our emergency service colleagues, and of course, our own officers safe.”