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Police officers 'feared for their lives' on Bonfire Night

Force was 'ill prepared' to respond to 'horrific violence', says Scottish Police Federation.

Violence: Officers were injured in the attacks.
Violence: Officers were injured in the attacks. Scottish Police Federation

Police officers feared for their lives during a night of "horrific violence" in Edinburgh, the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) has said.

The SPF said Police Scotland was "ill prepared" to respond to the violence, which included youths attacking officers with bricks, boulders and rockets.

A police officer suffered serious burns from a firework during a series of incidents in the north of the city on Bonfire Night.

The violence took place in the Drylaw, Muirhouse and Craigentinny throughout Sunday night.

The SPF, which represents rank-and-file officers in Scotland, described the scenes as being "similar to the riots in London".

Their statement comes after another officer suffered stab wounds while responding to an incident at Edinburgh College's Granton campus, also in the north of the city.

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1401616-police-injured-by-firework-after-responding-to-call/ | default

Andy Malcolm, east area chairman of the SPF, said: "Police officers in Edinburgh have been subject to the most horrific violence. We have officers who have been bricked, stoned, burned and now stabbed.

"It is disgraceful that officers have suffered grievous injury yet remarkable that the numbers of those who have is so low.

"Officers found themselves targeted by gangs of youths, the levels of violence and disorder were similar to a riot and officers found themselves in life-threatening situations."

He continued: "Officers found their vehicles being bricked and surrounded by gangs of youths trying to break in and attack them.

"Several vehicles were damaged and sustained smashed windscreens and damaged panels. They are now off the road pending repair."

'The service appeared ill prepared to respond to this level of violence'
Andy Malcolm, SPF

Mr Malcolm said police felt "helpless" during the attacks due to a lack of protection available to them.

"The service appeared ill prepared to respond to this level of violence and an urgent review of resourcing and protective equipment should now be undertaken to ensure protection of officers and the communities we serve," he said.

Responding to the SPF's claims, chief superintendent Kenny MacDonald said the safety of officers was "paramount."

He said: "Our operation on Sunday night was intelligence based and was beforehand considered proportionate.

"November 5th is a date which always brings high demand for service, and we are currently reviewing with our partners our response to this incident along with the tactics deployed in the area.

"A thorough investigation is currently being conducted into events of Sunday, November 5, and we thank the public for their support so far in helping us identify of those responsible."

Four teenagers were arrested over the incidents on Bonfire Night.

A 19-year-old man has appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with attempted murder following the incident at Edinburgh College's Granton campus.

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1401717-attempted-murder-charge-after-officer-stabbed-at-college/ | default

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