SO how was it where you are?

Last night on Glasgow's South Side, the community was battening the hatches for another Bonfire Night of fear and apprehension, having previously experienced horrendous levels of anti-social and criminal behaviour involving fireworks.

Anti-social behaviour probably feels a bit light as a descriptor from the people who have endured it. Two years ago riot police were necessary to quell a gang of young boys and men - from children up to chaps in their late 20s - who were throwing fireworks along streets, into closes and at police. A child was injured, property was damaged and residents of Pollokshields left terrified.

This year brought with it the additional trepidation of knowing the official fireworks displays were cancelled and the knowledge that an increase in private displays in back gardens was likely. Each year the run up to November 5 expands, with fireworks being set off earlier and earlier in parks and open spaces, at all times of the day and night.

On Wednesday night this week, around 10.30pm, a barrage of fireworks started a round of percussive bangs bouncing off buildings that went on for more than half an hour. Around midnight there were more explosions and at 2am still more.

On a local Facebook page residents spoke of seeing young guys throwing fireworks out of car windows in the wee hours. On one hand, being woken up by explosions is no one's idea of fun but at least at that hour of the morning there's fewer people around to risk being injured.

More than one parent emailed me this week to say they'd had to dodge fireworks on the school run with their children. Around this time of year there's a predictable tick list of column topics picked up by those of us engaged in the peddling of opinions. Halloween: Is this headline grabbing costume too sexy/too offensive/cultural appropriation? Remembrance Sunday: Why I'll be wearing a white/red/no poppy.

Bonfire Night: Should fireworks be banned?

In 2003 Tony Blair was handed a petition signed by 75,000 people asking for a curb in the use of fireworks because of the harm they cause to pets and non-domestic animals. No mean feat, number-wise, in the days We're four prime ministers on from then and the issue is still an annual debating point with no clear end in sight.

In Pollokshields the issue has been a campaigning point for the past two years. In a stellar example of community activism, residents mobilised to push for change. At a meeting in a local primary school a woman stood up to show the industrial sized fireworks she had found spent in her street. It took two hands to lift them up and display them to the gathered crowd.

The local MSP and MP - Nicola Sturgeon and Alison Thewliss - pledged that action would be taken. They have kept to their word. Ms Thewliss has debated the issue at Westminster, calling for restrictions on the sale of fireworks. Ms Sturgeon's government set up a committee to look at what restrictions could be put in place using devolved powers.

The committee had a lot to work with - a consultation drew more than 16,000 responses. It had been hoped the committee would report back in time for its recommendations to be actioned ahead of this year's Bonfire Night. The coronavirus restrictions put paid to those ambitions but this week the group's report was released, detailing a raft of recommendations including restricting areas that fireworks might be let off - so, local communities could make the case for an effective ban on the explosives in their area.

It also suggests introducing mandatory conditions when fireworks are purchased from retailers, and restricting volume and time of day fireworks can be purchased.

For those worst hit by firework misuse, the results are a disappointment. Multiple agencies are already working to try to resolve the issue of firework misuse: Police Scotland has had dedicated patrols in Pollokshields in the run up to November 5; trading standards has been targeting shops selling pyrotechnics; community groups have been working to engage young people in diversionary activities; police have visited previous offenders to warn them off anti-social behaviour.

Still the problem persists. Pollokshields is home to a Gurdwara and Sikh holy days see the colours of fireworks glint off the temple's gold dome. We don't, though, see a frantic rise in firework misuse in the run up to Diwali. The trouble, it seems, is all that of Bonfire Night.

Campaigners would like no less than a ban on the public sale of fireworks and it's hard to stake a case against them. In a normal year there is ample opportunity to enjoy fireworks at official displays - free, safe and spectacular. Do we really need to be able to buy potentially lethal explosive devices from the supermarket for use in our gardens when the downsides include trauma to people and animals, risk of severe injury, an additional significant burden on the emergency services and an excess of anti-social behaviour?

You might counter that a small minority of vandals are ruining the fun for everyone else but there are still organised displays.

In the US this summer thousands of complaints were received by police from New York to California. In Boston complaints went up 64-fold and theories as to the increase abounded - from the ease of sound travelling as coronavirus restrictions quelled background noise to conspiracy whispers involving an attempt by police to make themselves appear indispensable.

New Yorkers took matters into their own hands, as New Yorkers are wont to do. If they were to be kept awake at night by explosions, then the mayor should be similarly sleepless. A convoy drove to Bill de Blasio's residences and honked their horns in the early hours. Gracie Mansion rang to the sounds of "We don't sleep, you don't sleep".

In contrast, the campaign run by Pollokshields residents and local representatives has been more refined but it has been persistent and it has been consistent and certainly no less passionate.

Community safety minister, Ash Denham, told MSPs this week that, "The kind of cultural shift we are seeking to achieve will not happen overnight." It certainly won't, nor will changes to legislation.

But they need to happen faster before the goodwill and patience of local communities goes up in smoke.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.