Police officer injured after mass brawls in city park

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CW: Strong Language and scenes of violence

Mass brawls broke out among groups of young people in an Edinburgh park, with a police officer hospitalised for a facial injury.

Hundreds gathered in the Meadows on Saturday afternoon as the city enjoyed warm weather and the stay-at-home order came to an end.

Footage shared on social media showed groups of young men fighting each other, with one being struck by a bottle.

Police officers can also be seen tackling people to the ground in the clips.

CW: Strong Language and scenes of violence

A police officer as injured while trying to arrest a man on Chalmers Street next to the park and was taken to Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary for treatment to a facial injury.

A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged in connection with the incident and is expected to appear in court.

David Hamilton, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, accused politicians of “offloading predictable problems” onto officers.

He said: “Police officers didn’t write these health regulations but for the last year we have been asked to enforce them for the protection of all.

The MP for Edinburgh South, Ian Murray, said police and the council should come up with an action plan to deal with trouble on the Meadows and the mess left behind from large gatherings.

It comes after Scotland’s chief medical officer warned that people coming together in large groups risked a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

On Thursday, he said progress in suppressing the virus had been “fragile”.

Scotland’s stay-at-home order came to an end on Friday as part of the planned easing of lockdown, being replaced with a “stay local” rule.

A senior police officer said some of the thousands who gathered on the Meadows were intent on disorder.

Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor said: “We are aware of the extent of the disorder seen in the Meadows this weekend and we absolutely condemn this.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 5.45 pm on Saturday, April 3, 2021, a male police officer was injured whilst effecting the arrest of a man in Chalmers Street, Edinburgh. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where he was treated for a facial injury and has since been discharged.

“A 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident. He has been released on an undertaking to appear at court at a later date and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Source: STV News