Dundee's Halloween horror show: fireworks war erupts as council leader says 'those responsible MUST face consequences'

1 November 2022, 11:05 | Updated: 1 November 2022, 15:56

"Police doing nothing but watch it all from helicopters" said one bystander
"Police doing nothing but watch it all from helicopters" said one bystander. Picture: Twitter

By Danielle DeWolfe

Riot police were out in force in Dundee last night after a group of youths blocked roads, built bonfires and lit fireworks - as the Leader of Dundee City Council called for a total ban on firework sales.

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The anti-social behaviour, which began at around 5.30pm on Monday, started in Beauly Square, Kirkton, in north Dundee.

Widespread reports emerged of bricks being hurled at passing cars as the group “blocked off three junctions”, intimidating bystanders and causing many drivers to reroute in order to avoid the chaos.

It comes as the Leader of Dundee City Council, John Alexander, described the city as resembling a “war-torn nation", going on to condemn the scenes and calling for the suspension of firework sales across Dundee.

"Some may claim that to be a knee jerk reaction but at this point, I think it a necessary measure to address genuine fear, alarm and concern," said Mr Alexander.

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"As someone born and raised in Kirkton, where my parents still live, I can say that this doesn't reflect our community. I loved growing up in Kirkton and we must not allow a repeat of, what can only be described as, anarchy."

"All those responsible MUST face consequences."

Following Mr Alexander's comments, Tesco and Asda have confirmed they’ve temporarily taken fireworks off sale in the City.

He added: "I'm shocked but more than that, I'm angry. This reckless behaviour endangers lives, with emergency vehicles unable to pass on Balgowan Avenue and it costs residents and every taxpayer money."

One bystander, Ryan Carter Ros, took to Twitter to condemn the police's lack of action, stating: "Police doing nothing but watch it all from helicopters."

Alex Walker, a local Dundee resident, added: "I was driving home along Balgowan Avenue and spotted the fire in the distance expecting it to be up in the grassy hill.

"It was only when I got close that I realised it was multiple bits of fire in the various parts of the road. They literally blocked off three junctions. They were throwing fireworks across the road onto the fires and they were exploding.

Video footage from the scene shows fires burning across a wide area
Video footage from the scene shows fires burning across a wide area. Picture: Twitter

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A video posted to Twitter, originally taken by Dundee resident Luce McIntyre, shows a trail of flames along the roadside, with multiple bonfires visible.

Describing how he was forced to “drive up onto the grassy central reservation” in order to avoid the fires, Walker told the Daily Record he had to “work out how to get away”.

“There has been helicopters flying overhead since. Not the sort of thing you would expect to see on a Monday night in Dundee. It will be bonfire night at the weekend. I dread to think what that will be like."

It comes as Tayside Police condemned the violence and anti-social behaviour.

Chief Superintendent Phil Davison said: "There is no justification for the behaviour and disorder which was seen in the Kirkton area of Dundee last night.

Tonight's scenes in Kirkton are absolutely disgusting. This isn't just a wee bonfire. Blocking roads with bins ablaze,...

Posted by Councillor John Alexander on Monday, October 31, 2022

"Enquiries are ongoing to identify everyone involved.

"Throwing fireworks and other items towards emergency services is reckless and dangerous. No one should go to work and expect to be attacked.

"One officer suffered a minor injury and damage was caused to a school and a number of vehicles.

He added: "I would like to reassure the public of Dundee that we remain committed to keeping them safe as we understand last night’s behaviour must have been really distressing for residents in the areas.

"I would appeal to anyone who knows who was involved in the disorder, or has any information from last night, to contact Police Scotland on 101."