Residents and business owners in one part of Glasgow have spoken out after the reckless use of 'industrial size' fireworks turned their streets into a 'war zone'.

They are now calling for action so this year's troubles are not repeacted.

After hours of disorder, riot police were deployed to East Pollokshields, in Glasgow’s Southside, around to clear a 40-50 strong gang during this year's Bonfire night.

One business owner who did not wish to be identified said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if people start to take the law into their own hands next year and form some sort of vigilante groups,

“It’s been getting worse [each year] but this year they took it to another level,” he continued.  “They don’t even wait for the actual night. They are causing trouble weeks before.

"Throwing fireworks at each other, passers-by, buses, taxis. We are not talking about sparklers or bangers as I used to know them back in the day. Some of these fireworks were like mini rocket launchers!

“On the day itself, the trouble started around 4 pm and it’s a game of cat and mouse with the police.

"Gang loyalty is put to one side on Bonfire Night.  You have people coming here from other areas using Pollokshields as a battleground.  This is their opportunity to cause mayhem.”

Another business owner close to the main thoroughfare of Albert Drive, also spoke anonymously, fearing his “windows would be smashed in”, if he disclosed his real name.  “The numbers involved gets bigger and bigger,” he stated.

He went onto add: “Families are too scared to leave their homes, businesses suffer. But these idiots don’t care. They cover their faces and film themselves so they can watch it later on Facebook.  The police need to be a lot tougher.  It’s not just young kids. I saw grown men involved.

“My brothers and sisters ‘aseenjhutiya kha kay baare hoin ha’ (Punjabi for ‘we grew up disciplined by family elders, physically’) but kids these days know that the police can’t touch them.  They know their parents can’t touch them.  If you discipline your child these days, social work will have them taken away before you know it.”

Four mosques released a statement condemning the disorder as did the Scottish Police Muslim Association (SPMA).

The statement signed by the respective imams read: “Local residents, our friends, neighbours and our congregations, have been subject to attacks, intimidated and made to feel unsafe in their own homes. 

"The emergency services were also attacked and a young child is in a serious condition in hospital as a result of these actions.  We pray for her swift recovery.

“These actions aren’t harmless fun, but are criminal acts and a serious risk to people and property.

"The fireworks used have been described by Police Scotland as “professional or industrial” and these were weaponised; used in running battles as well as targeting property and innocent bystanders.”

The Pollokshields Community Council, recently organised a meeting, attended amongst others by representatives of Community Safety Glasgow, the council’s licensing department, Scottish Fire and Rescue as well as elected politicians.

This included Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, who is also the MSP for the area. 

However much of the anger of those attending was directed towards area commander, Chief Inspector, Ross Allan.

A letter was read out from a local resident whose three-year-old child suffered third-degree burns which required skin grafting after a firework was thrown close to the family home.

The Chief Inspector faced accusations that his officers “sat in their cars and vans” failing to arrest troublemakers.  He was also asked if there was “hesitancy” policing Pollokshields? Some locals explained they had given up calling the police, as they had little confidence in them to deal with those causing “mayhem”.

He flatly rejected any notion of “hesitancy” and reiterated that the police view the area as a “hotspot” but the “level of hostility” directed towards his officers was “unprecedented”.

He said: “We were not expecting to see people in balaclavas deliberately targeting the police. That was new.  It was only when they had the necessary protective gear that they could be deployed in order to clear the area. Prior to that, it wasn’t safe for them to do so.

“Lessons have been learnt and we are already working on a strategy so such scenes are never repeated.”

He added that 12 people had been arrested but an investigation is still “ongoing”.

Some residents suggested intelligence gained from local chatter, indicated drug dealers in the area, orchestrated the violence against the police.

SNP councillor Norman MacLeod paid tribute to the backing received by the Muslim Council of Scotland and the SPMA before adding that lives were being risked as was “community harmony”.

Labour councillor Raja Hanif stated that those involved were a “small minority” who receive no support from the wider community.

Nicola Sturgeon revealed she would prefer the public sale of fireworks to be banned, outside of those used for public displays.

She added that she would chair the first meeting of a newly formed steering group, whose aim would be to ensure scenes “unacceptable to her” did not reoccur.