It seems violence knows no international borders…
We were horrified recently to see a story in the Daily Record about a BMW getting torched while sitting in a driveway in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. The development looks nice, like the kind of place you’d live in to avoid this sort of thing. Then we started doing some digging and it quickly became apparent this isn’t just some freak, isolated incident. Scotland has had a car firebombing problem for some time, and we’ve even run across similar incidents in other parts of the UK.
Imagine that: in a country where not only is strict gun control practiced, there are also knife restrictions and buybacks, people have found other ways to be violent. Firebombings of cars rarely make the news in North America and we certainly hope that doesn’t change, but just doing a simple search we found several such reports in the UK, especially in Scotland, and they stretch back at least a few years.
In the latest incident at the nice house in North Lanarkshire, neighbors called for help quickly and firefighters were able to put out the blaze before it spread to any nearby structures. The scary thing is too often a car firebombed in a driveway spreads to the house, putting the people asleep inside in grave danger.
Another BMW was torched on June 3, the German luxury car burning not far from the bedroom of a young girl. Thankfully, a neighbor noticed the fire and alerted the car owner, who called for help. It took a fire crew over an hour to get the inferno under control. When interviewed, the owner of the BMW said she her neighbor’s car was firebombed just months before.
On June 7, a car was firebombed outside a house in Coatbridge. Police were called to the blaze at 3 am. It sounds like the fire was put out quickly by the people at the residence, since there’s no mention of firefighters, and police had a description of the suspect.
There was a firebombing in Dundee in the middle of May. It involved a “high-performance Audi” according to the report. Like the others, the attack was done in the middle of the night. If you’re noticing a pattern of German luxury cars (we found one incident of a Volvo being torched and another involving a work van) targeted when most people are asleep in bed, well that’s pretty obvious. But we found one incident of a Volvo being torched and another involving a work van. We even uncovered video of teens torching a police car with officers inside, so this seems to be a thing in the UK. The real question is why? Are these just mischievous youth as some claim? Is this some sort of class warfare? Many of the people targeted in the car firebombings are business owners and live in nice neighborhoods. Is this environmental activists deciding to take out internal-combustion engines by burning heaps of plastic? Or are these just plain old pyromaniacs who really love fire?
Sadly, we found some incidents of homes being targeted in firebombings. We also ran across protest involving plenty of Molotov cocktails, some dating back a decade or so. In other words, this sort of thing has been a problem in the UK for some time. Like we said before, we hope the trend doesn’t make its way to this side of the pond: we have enough car crime as it is.
Images credit: Wishaw Press, Daily Record, YouTube