Post Niddrie fireworks summit

Tuesday December 19th 2023

Fireworks Summit

Council Leader Cammy Day with some of those present at the summit.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A summit on fireworks between the Council, partner agencies, community representatives, local MPs, MSPs and councillors took place yesterday at Castlebrae Community Campus in Niddrie.

This follows the significant level of disorder seen in the city on Bonfire Night, particularly in the Niddrie area, where emergency services were attacked with fireworks, petrol bombs, masonry, and other missiles.

Since then, 26 people have now been charged with a total of 51 offences and police investigations remain ongoing.

The summit, hosted by Council Leader Cammy Day, discussed the events of this year, and looked ahead to how we address Bonfire Night and fireworks use in the future. This included our preventative community work alongside partners, the future implementation of Firework Control Zones (FCZs) and other strategies. Work is already well underway in these areas.

There will be a further summit in March 2024.

Council Leader Cammy Day said:

“It was really useful to come together and discuss our collective approach to Bonfire Night and broader fireworks use.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, Bonfire Night has become something of a focal point for potentially life-threatening disorder and violence. This year had the distinction of clear planning and premeditation on the part of those attacking police in Niddrie, which is a deeply disturbing development. I fear that unless we take decisive action now it is only a matter of time before we see serious injuries or even deaths on a future Bonfire Night.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our fantastic emergency services colleagues who do an excellent job in keeping us all safe.

“I believe that we need to go further and ban the public sale of fireworks, such is the unprecedented risk to public safety and order. Whilst this may seem unfair to the majority of people who celebrate and use fireworks responsibly, what we have seen this year necessitates such a response. I’ll also be looking into whether we can help provide organised displays in the city, so our residents can enjoy fireworks in a safe and secure way.

“We need to face these challenges head on, and I look forward to further summits in the New Year.”

Midlothian View queried as to why there were no young people at the summit. An Edinburgh Council spokesperson said:

“This wasn’t a summit about young people specifically, this was about the multiagency response to the events of November 5th and our wider use of fireworks going forward.

“Engagement with young people and the wider community is a key part of the approach and this work will continue. This includes working closely with the Lothian Association of Youth Clubs and schools.”

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