POLICE were called out to 20% fewer Bonfire Night incidents compared with last year, despite numerous reports of attacks on emergency service crews.

Fireworks were aimed at various emergency responders across the country, golf clubs were thrown at police officers in Edinburgh, and police in Glasgow were attacked with bottles and wood in violent Bonfire Night scenes.

But Police Scotland recorded 649 firework-related calls and 105 about fires, down from 798 and 153 last year.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) received more than 1020 calls during eight hours on Bonfire Night, with eight attacks on crews resulting in three firefighters being injured.

Initial figures from the SFRS indicate that crews responded to about 374 bonfires across the country between 3.30pm and 11.30pm on Friday.

READ MORE: Scottish fire service details attacks on firefighters on Bonfire Night

New rules mean it is illegal for the general public to set off fireworks before 6pm and after 11pm in Scotland.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs said: “Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, again, there were fewer organised events this year.

“It is very encouraging that we saw a reduction in calls during this traditionally high-demand period. I want to thank everyone who heeded our advice to enjoy themselves in a safe and responsible manner.

“However, unfortunately a number of police officers as well as colleagues from the other emergency services were targeted by a minority of people intent on causing disorder. I utterly condemn this behaviour.

“Thankfully, none of those affected sustained serious injuries but no-one should have to face violence in the course of their duties.

“These kinds of incidents put intense additional pressure on the emergency services and impact our officers’ ability to respond to other people in need.

“We will continue to thoroughly investigate these incidents in the coming days so as to identify those involved.”

Assistant Chief Officer Stuart Stevens, director of service delivery for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, added: “Attacks on our firefighters are completely unacceptable.

“This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion, but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues – including the police when they must escort us at the scene.

“This type of behaviour is, of course, carried out by a very small minority and we once again thank our communities for their continuing support and working together with us to stay safe.”

READ MORE: Police pelted with fireworks for 'more than two hours' in Bonfire Night stand-off

On Friday SFRS chief officer Martin Blunden tweeted: “Less than two hours in to bonfire night and three attacks so far with one of these requiring a visit to hospital.

“Please do not attack Scottish Fire and Rescue Service firefighters who are only doing their job.

“In fact, why attack any emergency service worker when we are here to protect you from harm?”

Deputy assistant chief officer Alasdair Perry added: “Our aim is to keep people safe by responding to emergencies. It’s unacceptable that anyone would choose to hamper those efforts.”

Offering his thanks to emergency service staff, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeted: “Disgraceful and shameful beyond words. I hope those who engage in such despicable behaviour are caught & punished.”