THE rioting around November 5 was disgraceful. It was also unprecedented.

When I served as Justice Secretary, I recall meeting officers undergoing such training. I also met other officers who had been either south of the Border or in Northern Ireland providing support when policing there was in danger of being overwhelmed by civil disturbances.

But I never imagined that they’d need to be deployed on Scottish streets. It’s why stern action must be taken against those who were attacking police and other emergency services. It’s simply unacceptable, cannot be condoned or excused. It’s not simply hooliganism but nihilistic behaviour, endangering not just officers and other public servants but folk in the area.

I know Niddrie well, having represented it for many years and still sitting on the board of some charities and voluntary services there. The folk are decent, despite the hardship in the area. They unreservedly condemn the few who besmirch the area.

There is also, though, a wider issue with fireworks, the legislation of which is reserved to Westminster, as they are classified as explosives. Indeed, though, that’s what some of the larger products that are made really are. It’s why I’ll be pushing for action and, if Westminster won’t, then it should be devolved so that Holyrood can.

Sparklers are fine for kids. But the larger ones should be very tightly regulated and only able to be used at licensed events which operate under strict supervision.

On the issue of youth disorder, there’s also the abuse of bus passes. They are a good thing, allowing youngsters to access work, college or friends. But, as with fireworks, it’s being abused. Disorder is occurring on buses and even other youngsters are being assaulted.

It’s why, to protect drivers and other passengers, there should be the ability to withdraw the pass for a short period. After all, a parent would ground a youngster for misbehaviour. Maybe that should happen here, with the pass taken away.