French tourist robbed by knife gang in street

Police are keen to trace the suspects. Picture: Michael Gillen
Police are keen to trace the suspects. Picture: Michael Gillen
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A French visitor was threatened with a knife and mugged in the city centre – just hours after he arrived in Scotland.

The 24-year-old had flown in to Edinburgh on Saturday and was walking to the New Town to find somewhere to stay when he was attacked by two men.

As he approached the corner of Broughton Market, which is at the end of Barony Street, and Dublin Street at around 8pm, he was grabbed from behind by the suspects, who pulled out a knife and demanded money.

They took his laptop, mobile phone and wallet before fleeing towards Broughton Market when a car drove past.

The victim, who had been planning a lengthy stay in Edinburgh, was uninjured but was so traumatised he returned home shortly after the incident.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the attack, which came as a new survey hailed Edinburgh as the third-safest city in the world.

City centre councillor Joanna Mowat said “questions need to be asked” to ensure the Capital retained its positive reputation following a spate of assaults and robberies.

“It’s disturbing to hear that there has been an armed robbery in the centre of town which people would regard as very safe,” she said.

“It’s rare and unusual, so we have to keep it in proportion, but we need to work with the police to make sure this is not becoming a trend.”

Cllr Mowat said she would be pressing Police Scotland to ensure there are enough officers on duty in the city centre during weekends.

The Tory councillor added: “We have a reputation as a safe city – it’s a very precious reputation and it’s a huge concern if that starts to be challenged with street incidents. It’s much easier to lose that reputation than to get it back.”

A new survey conducted by Post Office Travel Insurance found that the Capital was seen as a safe place to visit.

Edinburgh was deemed as 69 per cent “safe” and three per cent “risky”, faring just behind York and Bath among the 42 world cities in the survey.

Detective Constable Iain Wallace, who is leading the investigation into the assault, said: “The victim had only just arrived in the city when he was assaulted and robbed, although thankfully he wasn’t injured.

“We are appealing for anyone who was in the area of Broughton Market or Dublin Street at around 8pm on Saturday evening to get in touch with police. We know that a car drove past at the time of the incident as it caused the two males to run off.”

The suspects were both white men and described as being in their late 30s and around 5ft 9in tall.

The first suspect had a broad build, dark brown hair and was clean shaven. He spoke with a Scottish accent and was wearing a zipped-up hooded top.

The second is described as having a slim build, slight beard, and wearing a black cap or woolly hat, blue jeans and a black cotton coat with two diagonally angled pockets at the lower front of the jacket.

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.