Comment: Cities would kill for peaceful image

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at a time when the whole country is pouring over opinion polls like never before, the results of one little noticed survey are worth some further thought.

This one has no bearing whatsoever on the Independence Referendum, but does have something significant to say about our lives in Scotland’s Capital today.

The fact that more people across the UK view Edinburgh as a safe city, with “peaceful and secure streets”, is great news for the city.

That kind of image is something which comparable cities across the world would kill for because of the many advantages it brings.

It is, of course, invaluable for the tourism industry which underpins so many jobs here in the Capital.

But it is also important when it comes to attracting people with the skills we need – doctors, teachers, research scientists and so on – to allow the city to flourish.

And it is not just people who live in other parts of the country that think Edinburgh is such a secure place to live.

Those of us who live here also believe that too. The fact more than nine out of ten residents feel safe going out after dark, according to a recent city council survey, speaks volumes.

The city does have its social problems, of course, but by-and-large it is certainly a safe place to live.

It might seem ironic that the survey results were published on the same day as a drive-by shooting is making headlines.

But it is down to the fact that Edinburgh is on the whole such a tranquil place that such incidents are headline news when they happen.

We are, thankfully, still shocked when shots are fired in the streets near our homes, even when no-one is hurt.

Shooting incidents, despite a similar one in Dalkeith last month, remain rare in the Capital.

And the police have a good track record in bringing those responsible to justice.