MY FOCUS over the last few weeks has been planning for Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night, which are always busy times for Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and the East Lothian Council Safer Communities Team.

Operation Torsion is the local policing operation in East Lothian and, as in previous years, we have worked with partners over the last month to reduce anti-social behaviour associated with these events. This has included giving talks in schools with the SFRS to promote firework safety, visits to retailers regarding new legislation in relation to the sale of fireworks, and engaging with local community groups regarding planned events.

In addition to prevention work, local officers have carried out high-visibility patrols across the county over the last week where they have been supported by the East Lothian Council community wardens. There was also a national policing operation in place to provide additional specialist resources, such as public order trained officers as required.

This year, we had about 70 calls related to Operation Torsion in East Lothian, with about a third of these being received on Monday, October 31, and the other calls spread across the week, with peaks on Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6.

All our organised community events were well planned, with minimal disruption to local residents, and I am grateful to those who ensured the safety and enjoyment of those involved.

Unfortunately, we saw a minority of young people engaged in significant anti-social behaviour in North Berwick, Tranent and Prestonpans on October 31 whereby fireworks were thrown at properties and vehicles, causing significant risk and concern. On this night, a number of Royal Mail vans were damaged in Prestonpans and three police vehicles damaged in Tranent.

Over bonfire weekend, we again received calls about anti-social behaviour across the county, including Tranent, Wallyford and Musselburgh, although thankfully our policing teams in East Lothian did not face the level of violence faced by our colleagues in Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland.

This behaviour is unacceptable and those involved will be dealt with robustly. The community policing team, including our East Lothian Community Action officers, have already charged 12 young people with fireworks-related offences and enquiries will continue over forthcoming weeks.

Anyone who has information in relation to these incidents should contact their local community team, whose contact details are on the Police Scotland website.