Launch of Operation Moonbeam 2023
Police Scotland will be deploying Public Order officers in support of community policing teams throughout the Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night period.
Since 2018, specialist resources have supported local officers across the country as part of Operation Moonbeam, following significant disorder and antisocial behaviour in 2017, which saw members of the emergency services, including police officers, attacked.
In 2022, parts of the country were subjected to unacceptable levels of firework-related criminality, which caused considerable distress to communities and resulted in high-value damage to property.
In response to this, an enhanced level of Public Order resource is being deployed during Operation Moonbeam 2023 to provide further support and protection to police officers, other emergency service workers and the general public.
In October last year, new legislation was introduced under the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act. This legislation makes the proxy purchasing of fireworks for anyone under the age of 18 a criminal offence.
Those in breach of this legislation will be subject to a fine of £5,000, a six-month prison term, or both.
From this year, additional legislation under the Act has been introduced, which prohibits the carriage or use of a pyrotechnic article within a public place and allows officers to conduct stop and search activity on anyone they believe may be in possession of such items.
Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs, Gold Commander for Operation Moonbeam, said: “The overwhelming majority of the public wish to enjoy Bonfire Night safely and responsibly, but it is a small minority who intentionally use the festivities to cause fear and alarm within our communities and commit acts of damage and violence.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that such reckless behaviour, including targeting my officers and other emergency service personnel will not be tolerated and we will use all the powers at our disposal to bring offenders to justice.
“Last year saw an escalation in incidents in specific parts of the country and we are increasing the level of public order resource available to communities this year to deter and respond to any offences.
“The new powers we have in relation to proxy purchasing and stop and search capabilities for anyone suspected to be in possession of pyrotechnics in a public place are yet another tool at our disposal to address fireworks-related crime.
“We want Bonfire Night to be a safe and enjoyable experience for anyone who chooses to participate in it and a peaceful occasion for those who don’t. Please help us achieve this by ensuring your behaviour does not put yourself or others at risk.”
A 19 year old man was arrested for being drunk in charge of a vehicle in Dunkeld Road, Perth on Thursday 26th October.
A 53 year old man will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for failing to stop for police officers in Canal Street, Perth on Saturday 28th October.
A 33 year old man was arrested for drink driving on the A93 near Cargill on Sunday 29th October.
A 41 year old woman will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for being responsible for causing a 3 vehicle road traffic collision in Perth Street, Blairgowrie on Tuesday 31st October.
During the last week 4 drivers were found to be without insurance, 2 had no licence and 1 had no MOT
About 1:15am, Saturday 28th October, a male was seen to smash the rear windscreen of a red Vauxhall Grandland which was parked in Rannoch Road, Perth. He is described as white, stocky build, about 5ft 8 with short dark hair and full facial hair. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and dark trousers. (CR259193)
About 3:20pm, Sunday 29th October, a window was smashed at a property in Brahan Terrace, Perth (CR/260463/23)
Between Saturday 28th and Monday 30th October, a quantity of jewellery and a Faberge Egg was stolen during a break in to a property in Mount Tabor Road, Perth. (CR/261612/23)
Between Wednesday 25th and Friday 27th break-ins occurred at Noah’s Ark Golf Centre, Perth (CR/257646/23) and Kinross Golf Club. (CR/258375/23)
Between 5pm, Thursday 26th and 9am, Friday 27th October, copper cabling valued at £600 was stolen from a construction site on the B827 near Braco. (CR/260563/23)
In the early hours of Monday 30th October, a quantity of tools were stolen from a blue Isuzu D-Max parked in William Geddes Place and a black Volvo V40 parked in Rosemount Park, Blairgowrie. (CR262286/23)
Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Division on 101 or any police officer, quoting the crime reference number listed at each incident. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.