Kirkton residents are in shock after riots saw a school smashed up, fireworks thrown at police and several fires started.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander has condemned the “disgusting” events that took place in the area he represents in his Strathmartine ward.
He said: “This reckless behaviour endangers lives.”
The Courier’s Kim Cessford, Bryan Copland and James Simpson witnessed Monday night’s carnage.
This is a visual timeline of events as they unfolded, through the lens of social media and eyewitnesses.
One woman – whose car was hit with a brick – later tells The Courier: “I was driving at the roundabout at Old Glamis near Balgowan Avenue when this started.
“Bricks, barriers and fireworks were being thrown at vehicles.
“The side of our car was damaged while we had our six-year-old daughter in the vehicle.
“Another car had its windscreen smashed nearby. We called 999 and they said they were aware of what was going on.”
By 6.30pm, a significant crowd is gathered around the fires as cars make quick U-turns away from the flames.
Resident livestreams the incident
Hours later, locals express concern about the speed of the emergency services’ response to the incident, alleging police didn’t enter the street despite pleas for help.
Bryan Copland – The Courier’s live news co-team leader – gets to the scene shortly after 7pm.
He says: “I was in my car and noticed flames in the distance.
“It was only when I got closer and saw cars turning back that I realised I was meeting a wall of fire across Balgowan Avenue.
“You could sense the tension in the area. Young kids and families were out guising – but they were being met with these almost apocalyptic scenes.
“One couple pushing a pram were urged to turn back by one of the residents.
“Folk were throwing fireworks across the street, very close to the houses.
“And the revving of motorbike engines and banging of fireworks went on for quite some time after that.”
Police Scotland confirm officers are dealing with a disturbance in Dundee.
A spokeswoman tells The Courier: “We were called around 5.30pm on Monday to a report of a disturbance in the Balgowan Avenue and Old Glamis Road area of Dundee.
“Emergency services are currently in attendance.”
The Courier’s photographer, Kim Cessford, arrives in Kirkton.
He says: “When I got to Balgowan Avenue there were fires smouldering.
“Householders were out with buckets of water trying to extinguish the flames.”
Only in kirkton 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/7Wl3zoQOe2
— Ralph Middleton (@MiddletonRalph) October 31, 2022
Extraordinary footage shows police being shot at with fireworks outside of the school
Kirkton resembling 1970’s Belfast tonight 😳 pic.twitter.com/xDFpthHi2Y
— lewis (@LewisM1909) October 31, 2022
By this point, Kim is checking out what’s going on at the school.
He says: “The police were there, trying to push the attackers back and guard the entrance.
“The group just got bigger and bigger and then there was a stand-off between both parties.
“However, it was impossible for the police to grab any of the ringleaders because as soon as they moved forward the kids just dispersed like rabbits.
“The whole atmosphere was menacing and threatening.”
Civilians and cars struggle to get out of the way of the rioting.
Footage captured by some of those in the crowd appears to show the police moving back up the road, giving space to the rioters.
10.30pm – Police helicopter leaves the scene
The helicopter heads off as police appear to be in control of the situation.
On Facebook, as national publications begin to follow up The Courier’s coverage, Dundee City Council leader John Alexander expresses his disgust at the riots.
He says: “Tonight’s scenes in Kirkton are absolutely disgusting.
“This isn’t just a wee bonfire. Blocking roads with bins ablaze, smashing up cars and damaging our schools are scenes that you’d expect in an action movie or war-torn nation.
“I’m shocked but more than that, I’m angry.
“This reckless behaviour endangers lives.”
He also calls on parents to quiz their children about where they were on Halloween night.
The Courier’s Kim Cessford leaves around the same time the police helicopter departs.
He says: “It (the trouble) was still going on, there was still a stand-off between cops and a mob on Gillburn Road.
“Fireworks were still being thrown but in reducing numbers – they were obviously running out of their stocks by then.”
As politicians and residents demand answers over the handling of the riots, Tayside’s top cop Phil Davison speaks to the media.
He says: “There is no justification for the behaviour and disorder which was seen in the Kirkton area of Dundee last night.
“No one should go to work and expect to be attacked.
“One officer suffered a minor injury and damage was caused to a school and a number of vehicles.
“I would like to reassure the public of Dundee that we remain committed to keeping them safe, as we understand last night’s behaviour must have been really distressing for residents in the areas.”