Operation Moonbeam is a nationwide programme that is the annual response to the delivery of community safety during the month of November, especially in the lead up to the fireworks festivities. It is the work that is done in planning prior to and after 5th November. The first year that Operation Moonbeam was in force was in 2018 and it has been running successfully since. This was the start of the national campaign based on work previously carried out by North Ayrshire Council.
In 2017 there was serious disorder in Edinburgh where firefighters were attacked on and around 5th November. Following this, as part of a safety review led by Police Scotland, there was a look at community safety nationally around Bonfire Night. It was identified that there was good practice in North Ayrshire within the Community Safety Partnership. A case study was completed and the work in North Ayrshire became known as Operation Moonbeam.
The Operation Moonbeam national programme is informed by the work that had been done previously in North Ayrshire. For several years, the Safer North Ayrshire Partnership had been working on a number of initiatives to keep communities safe regarding how they worked in partnership, the sale of fireworks, bonfires and ensuring that there was no debris left in streets and gardens. Across the whole of the Community Partnership, they were looking at the different risks and responses. From 2014 there was a local initiative that was similar to the national Operation Moonbeam campaign. The local initiative related to the sale of fireworks and the building of bonfires in the local communities. Volume of calls was huge, as Bonfire Night and the weekend closest to it is traditionally the busiest time of the year for SFRRS and fire safety. If you reduce the number of bonfires and you can reduce the number of injuries.
Read this case study in full here.