antisocial behaviour is a major concern for many people in neighbourhoods across the Capital.
It can take many different forms from vandalism on housing estates to drunks shouting and brawling in the city centre. What is common to all of them is the damage it does to the quality of life of those that have to live with it.
Tackling those problems is a priority for many communities –and it is heartening to see the city council making it a priority too.
There are plenty of areas of council spending which many would call into question, but this is not one of them. Spending £2.6 million of council tax payers’ money on extra community bobbies has got to be a good move.
The more officers who are working in the heart of our communities – and making themselves accessible to the public – the better. It is these officers who will get to know the local criminals and crime patterns and will be able to nip many problems in the bud before they grow into anything more serious.
The extra officers on the streets, like local police stations, are a visible reminder of the force’s presence, and are a great reassurance.
It is perhaps a sign of the concerns about local priorities being lost under Police Scotland that city leaders felt it necessary to demand a “cash back” deal with Police Scotland. The agreement includes a pledge by the force to hand back cash to the council if the beat bobbies which the city is paying for are diverted away to other duties.
It is perhaps an unusual arrangement, but it is a wise one, which should guarantee that the Capital gets value for money out of its extra investment in local policing.
In this case, the city leaders seem to have driven a hard bargain which should ensure that the extra officers we are paying for are working to make the streets of Edinburgh a safer and more peaceful place.