In my second column of the year, I’d like to focus on the importance of partnership working.
Given the demands of South East Edinburgh, the relationship and activity with partners is a key element of how we deal with some of the problems in the area.
Recent work carried out by Police Scotland as part of research for our 2026 policing strategy confirmed to us how policing has changed dramatically over the years.
For example, of the 900,000 incidents Police Scotland attended in 2015, only one in five resulted in a crime being recorded.
The traditional role of policing being primarily about law enforcement has clearly changed and these figures illustrate the amount of police work carried out dealing with missing people, drink and drug related issues and wider issues linked to mental illness.
Given that narrative, working in partnership will be key to addressing the underlying nature of these problems and attempting to reduce demands on policing in the future.
Thankfully, we have fostered very strong relationships with council departments and the wider partnership network, which is now embedded in locality working across the city. We are currently working with our Locality team to create a bespoke Locality Improvement Plan for our area.
This will be the first time that we will have created a fully joined-up approach to dealing with local problems and the themes that our community tell us matter most to them.
Our recent work carried out at the east end of Princes Street was a positive example of exactly how working in partnership can tackle problems.
In response to significant youth issues over last year’s spring break we worked with 6VT, Streetworks, BTP, and the Council’s Community Safety and Environmental Wardens and Night Team to create a plan to provide an increased presence in the area and engage with young people.
A ‘youth point’ base was established by 6VT on the top of Waverly Mall and, over the two weeks, a range of services and advice was offered to young people coming to the area.
As a result, youth-related calls were eradicated and no crimes occurred. This was a substantial improvement on the year before where Police Scotland received more than 30 calls regarding disorder and antisocial behaviour in the area.
Working with effective partners in this way is a key strand of our 2026 policing strategy, as only by doing so will we really impact upon the problems which affect the community across South East Edinburgh.
If you would like to take part in our policing 2026 consultation and give us your views, please visit it on our Police Scotland website.
Chief Inspector Mark Rennie is South East Area Commander