RESIDENTS around an Ardrossan park have been left furious as a group of young fire-raisers continue to target the area.

The park, which runs adjacent to the shops on Central Avenue and Queen's Drive in the town, has been a target of similar incidents in the past.

READ MORE: Fire crew attacked in Ardrossan after 22 deliberate fires in same street

And those who live in the community have looked to vent their anger as they claim that once again the area has been blitzed by groups of youths who have hurled abuse at anyone who challenges them.

While the the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service say officers attending the area have been "bombarded" by missiles when attending outdoor fires in the area.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: One of the fires set by the youths.

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Herald of their horror in recent weeks and months as gangs of youngsters have looked to set large fires using "anything they can get their hands on".

They say that groups of between 20 and 30 young people have descended on the grassy area "every night" causing havoc for those living in the surrounding streets and leaving destruction and piles of mess behind them.

READ MORE: Ardrossan: Residents 'living in fear' due to anti-social behaviour

The emergency services have been called on a number of occasions - including one night that the resident recalled the local fire service attending the street on four separate occasions.

Though the presence of the fire service, as well as police officers, has done little to deter the groups from returning as they simply vacate the area once the emergency services come along.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the destruction left behind.

The resident told the Herald: “It’s getting a bit ridiculous. There is about 20-30 of them and anyone walking by they are just giving them abuse.

“It’s every night, the police turn up and they scare them away but once they are away they just come back again.

“They are getting stuff from round the back of the shops and they took the bin out of the swing park.

“One night they even pulled eight wheelie bins down the road and burnt them – it’s just anything they can get their hands on.”

While it is not just residents who are becoming increasingly concerned about the repeated incidents.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Police Scotland and North Ayrshire Council have all expressed the need to combat the ongoing issues.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the destruction left behind.

Police Scotland's most recent callout to the street - at the time of writing - was on Hallowe'en. They say enquiries are ongoing.

A force spokesperson said: “Around 8.40pm on Tuesday, 31 October, 2023, police were called to the Central Avenue area of Ardrossan, following a report of a fire and a disturbance.

"Officers attended and assisted Scottish Fire and Rescue Service colleagues. Enquiries are continuing.”

While the SFRS say that their officers have been victims of attacks when attending fires in the area.

They say that twice on Monday, October 30, night crews were "bombarded with fireworks, bricks and bottles after being mobilised to tackle a series of outdoor fires".

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the destruction left behind.

Crews have had to request the assistance of Police Scotland to provide an escort to enable them to attend and extinguish the fires.

There were no injuries reported to the crews involved however a number of fire appliances sustained damage and, in one instance, an appliance had to be removed from operational availability.

Station Commander Paul Timmons was part of the crew mobilised to an outdoor fire in Ardrossan on Monday night when they came under attack.

He said: “A number of objects were being thrown at us by a group of people and something struck the roof of the appliance.

“This behaviour prevents us from doing our job. We shouldn’t be treated this way – it is unsafe and someone could be seriously hurt.”

While Deputy Assistant Chief Officer (DACO) Garry Mackay has branded this behaviour as “unacceptable” and warned SFRS will take a zero-tolerance approach on attacks on staff.

He added that his concern is heightened given one of the service's busiest nights - bonfire night - is on the horizon.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the destruction left behind.

He commented: “The Bonfire period is one the busiest spells for our staff and our emergency service partners, who work tirelessly to keep people safe.

“They should be able to carry out their role without being hurt or having appliances and equipment damaged by reckless anti-social behaviour.

“These actions are also an unnecessary drain on emergency service resources.

“We want to bring any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion – please respect our staff and all emergency services.”

The incident come less than a week after Crimestoppers launched a campaign to raise awareness to help keep Scotland’s emergency services safe.

DACO Mackay added: “We know this is a small minority of people but any attack on the emergency services is completely unacceptable.

“Together with our Police Scotland partners, we will work to identify those responsible.

“Additionally, we also continue to ask parents, guardians and carers to help by making sure that children and young people are aware of the risk and consequences of engaging in such acts.

“Our priority is to keep our firefighters and our communities safe, and we urge the public to help us as we approach Bonfire Night.” 

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the destruction left behind.

In addition to this, North Ayrshire Council - who have had to work to clean up the mess left behind by fire-raisers - say they will be working with the emergency services to ensure they reduce the impact in the lead up to bonfire night.

A council spokesperson said: “We are working with our partners in Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the run up to November 5 to help reduce the impact of unsanctioned bonfires throughout the area.

“As part of Operation Moonbeam – a national programme that delivers community safety throughout November - multiple services provide a collective response to removing illegal deposits of waste and the safe management of potential fire sites.

“If members of the public witness accumulations of waste being deposited on public open spaces, they are encouraged to contact the Council as soon as possible for removal.

“Fire-raising and antisocial behaviour should be reported to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland.”

Anyone with information about attacks on emergency services or acts of deliberate fire setting call Police Scotland on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report online to Fearless at