Police in Edinburgh have launched their annual campaign to keep the public safe and deter fireworks-related disorder over Bonfire Night.
Operation Crackle, which runs from Thursday 4th November, to Saturday 6th November, sees local officers deployed throughout the city to address the range of criminality that typically arise as a result of the antisocial use of fireworks during the bonfire period.
In advance community policing teams have been working alongside the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the City of Edinburgh Council and may other partners, to engage with young people through various channels and discuss the risks and consequences of using fireworks recklessly.
Officers have also carried out joint patrols with council Environmental Wardens and members of the fire service to carry out environmental audits and identify and safely remove any debris or materials that could be used to start bonfires.
In addition to Operation Crackle, Police Scotland has also launched its national public order response for Halloween and Bonfire Night, Operation Moonbeam.
As part of this campaign, a range of specialist and national resources will be available to Edinburgh’s officers if they are required.
The city’s dispersal zones will once again be in operation as an additional tactic to tackle and deter antisocial behaviour and disorder.
The zones will run between 4th and 6th November from 2pm to midnight each day.
Like the past four years, the zones include Muirhouse, West Pilton, Portobello, Loganlea, Saughton, Gorgie, Gilmerton, Moredun and Southhouse and enable police to instruct groups of two or more people who are congregating and behaving in an antisocial manner in these areas to disperse.
Those who fail to comply, or fail to stay away for up to 24 hours, can face arrest.
Chief Inspector Murray Tait from Edinburgh Division said:
Last year saw unprecedented restrictions placed on the public, in terms of gatherings within their homes and gardens, as well as all public bonfire and fireworks displays being cancelled and we are yet to see the return of such events.
If you are planning to purchase and use fireworks over the coming days and weeks then please do so responsibly and within reasonable times of the day, so as not to disturb and distress vulnerable members of our community.
We have been working alongside our various partners in advance to mitigate against fireworks-related disorder but nevertheless, we still anticipate a very busy period for ourselves and the other emergency services.
We are committed to keeping not only the public, but our officers and emergency service colleagues safe, and we are grateful that Operation Crackle officers will once again be supported by the specialist resources as part of Operation Moonbeam.
I would ask that parents and guardians have frank conversations with the young people in their care and remind them that behaving recklessly with fireworks can not only put lives at risk, but will result in arrest and a criminal record.