Three arrests every day in Pilton crime blitz

Police officers question a member of the public in the Pilton area. Picture: Scott Louden
Police officers question a member of the public in the Pilton area. Picture: Scott Louden
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A POLICE crackdown in a trouble-hit district blighted by joyriders and car crime has seen 91 suspects arrested in the last month.

Officers made around three arrests a day in October following a public outcry over widespread disorder in north Edinburgh. One of the suspects detained is understood to be only 15 years old.

It comes after a crime wave swept across Pilton with figures in July showing there had been 55 motorbike thefts and 24 youths – some as young as 12 – arrested for 140 incidents.

The chaos reached boiling point in October when Chinese takeaway owner Jie Yu was stabbed in West Pilton.

On Bonfire Night, dozens of youths attacked Drylaw police station with fireworks in a confrontation that saw 20 officers drafted in from the city centre to quell the trouble.

But a dedicated crime blitz – dubbed StrongerNorth – has moved to target troublemakers with officers executing warrants for 129 offences in north Edinburgh last month.

It is thought the offences relate to assaults, housebreaking and hate crimes.

Inspector David Happs said Police Scotland was “robustly pursuing” suspects with outstanding warrants issued by the court.

He said: “Over the weekend, a further four men aged between 32 and 41 and a 35-year-old woman were arrested on warrant. One of the men apprehended was wanted on five separate warrants.

“Our enforcement activity will continue as Police Scotland and our partner agencies look to tackle the issues adversely affecting communities in the north of the Capital and bring those responsible for all forms of criminal activity to justice as quickly as possible.”

Councillor Cammy Day, the city’s community safety leader, said the police operation sent a “clear message” that everything was being done to keep the community “as safe as possible”. He added: “This is part of the whole StrongerNorth approach, that there will be a tougher line taken with crime and antisocial behaviour.”

Betty McVay, of West Pilton and West Granton Community Council, said she was relieved by the recent police response and hoped it would continue.

She said: “These things tend to go in phases all the time. When you get a big incident in the area people tend to question it. The police have put on extra resources and extra manpower, but whether it will last, I don’t know.”