Police were called to deal with large crowds in different locations across Scotland yesterday, after reports of violence, antisocial behaviour and drinking.

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

But police were called to a number of incidents over the course of the day after mass brawls broke out among groups of young people.

So far three people have been charged in connection with anti-social behaviour and a serious assault.

The police federation said an officer was injured in the violence.

Footage circulating on social media captured fights breaking out after thousands of young people gathered in the sunshine. 

At one point a glass bottle can be seen being smashed over someone’s head.

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

Police are now appealing for information and condemning the disorder.

The following footage contains offensive language

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

“Officers were called to a number of incidents over the course of the day and responded quickly and professionally in the face of some blatant anti-social behaviour.

“Hundreds of people were moved on or dispersed from the area.

“Three people have so far been charged in connection with anti-social behaviour and a serious assault, and we are working to trace others involved in various incidents.

“In particular, we’re eager for anyone who saw a 22-year-old man being attacked around 7.30pm in the Middle Meadow Walk area and also a 17-year-old man being seriously injured in the park around 6.40 pm, to come forward.

She added: "Be assured that there will be a continued police presence at The Meadows over Easter and the coming weekends, as a minimum.

"We've been working with the council and are committed to tackling these issues together, both in the immediate future and long-term. There will be zero tolerance.”

HeraldScotland: Police in Glasgow have been patrolling Kelvingrove ParkPolice in Glasgow have been patrolling Kelvingrove Park
Near Glasgow, hundreds of youths were dispersed by police, with several fines issued after reports of antisocial behaviour.

Community officers were called to both Milngavie Reservoir and Windyhill Golf Course in Bearsden. 

Hundreds of young people were gathered nearby Barrachan House and were found "engaging in anti-social behaviour". 

Upon the arrival of officers about 25 were moved on.

Shortly following this police were called to break up another large-scale gathering of about 150 people at Windyhill Golf Course in Bearsden, where further fines were issued and parents were called to collect their children.

East Dunbartonshire Police said: "Officers have disrupted a large scale gathering of 200+ youths on Windyhill Golf Course.

"A number of apprehensions made by your Community Policing Team. Excessive noise & music, alcohol a significant factor."

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “On Saturday, April 3, 2021, police attend a number of calls in relation to people gathering in large groups in the Milngavie area, particularly at Milngavie Reservoir and in the grounds of a local golf club.

“Around 7.10pm, approximately 25 people were moved on from the reservoir.

"Around 8.30pm, approximately 150 people were dispersed from the grounds of the golf club and a number of fixed penalty notices were issued.”

HeraldScotland: People pictured enjoying late afternoon sunshine in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow on good Friday | Colin MearnsPeople pictured enjoying late afternoon sunshine in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow on good Friday | Colin Mearns

It follows the arrest of two teenage boys in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park on Friday night.

The 15-year-olds were arrested in connection with anti-social behaviour.

Officers have patrolling the park to crack down on alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour as locals gather to make the most of the sunshine.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Two 15-year-olds were arrested in connection with anti-social behaviour at Kelvingrove Park on Friday, 2 April, 2021.”

Officers are also urging people to do the right thing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

CI Sarah Taylor said: "We've urged people to stay local and follow the regulations on gatherings.

"Saturday saw several thousand people congregate at The Meadows and, disappointingly, some were intent on disorder.

“The coronavirus regulations have had a significant impact on our lives and I would like to thank those who are sticking to the rules and doing the right thing to avoid the spread of the virus as we move through the easing of restrictions.

"Our approach throughout the pandemic has been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and encourage compliance, but we will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers as a last resort."

Politicians 'offloading predictable problems'

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.

“Public hostilities towards the restrictions were foreseeable and have been growing for some time.

“They have increasingly culminated with some in our society taking out their anger and frustrations on police officers.

“Yesterday in Edinburgh, one of our members was hospitalised with a facial injury, and countless other unvaccinated officers were put at risk, for simply doing their jobs to keep others safe.

“It is simply not good enough that politicians have offloaded these predictable problems onto police officers, especially when they have failed in their responsibility to protect and support those of whom they have asked so much.”

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.

He tweeted: “It’s a huge thank you to all the volunteers & council staff who cleaned up the Meadows again last night.

“We need an action plan from the council, police, govt, retailers to resolve the mess, violence, residential streets being used as a toilet & significant impact on local area.”

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.

Anyone who witnessed the incidents in the Meadows, Edinburgh, who has seen information online or has footage which may be relevant is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 1635 of 3 April, 2021.

Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.