Bob Paris: Force gears up for the Festival

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In my last column, which was featured in the run-up to Christmas, I reported that police in the city centre had observed an increase in the theft of high-value mobile phones and tablet devices.

This trend continued into early 2014. However, thanks to excellent policing by local officers, two men were subsequently identified and reported for almost 140 offences. We have also identified and arrested a group of Eastern European men who are accused of impersonating police officers and targeting vulnerable tourists who were visiting the Capital. These men are all currently awaiting trial.

Central Edinburgh continues to see a rise in housebreakings despite the best efforts of local officers and our Partnerships, Interventions and Preventions team. I would, however, like to reassure the public that whenever we receive a report of this nature it is investigated robustly by specialist resources, which has seen hundreds of arrests made across the city since December last year and has returned tens of thousands of pounds worth of property to its rightful owners.

Our communities can assist us in our efforts to tackle housebreaking by taking all the necessary steps to secure their homes, especially during the warm weather. Members of the public can contact their local policing team or visit the Police Scotland website should they require advice on crime prevention. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the police.

On a positive note, we are once again gearing up for the Edinburgh Festival and planning is well under way for our policing initiative – Operation Eastborough.

A single police force allows us to use national resources during this period of peak demand for the city. Extra officers will be out on high-visibility patrols during the month of August to engage with the public and deter and detect criminal activity.

It is shaping up to be another busy time for the city centre but we are working hard to keep the public safe and ensure Edinburgh remains one of the safest places in the UK to live, work and visit.

• Chief Inspector Bob Paris covers Edinburgh Central