Graham McInarlin: Hints for a happy Christmas

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The past couple of weeks were typically busy for my officers, with Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night celebrations having taken place at various locations within the West of Edinburgh.

I’d like to thank the vast majority of our communities for their exemplary behaviour during these festivities, with no significant incidents of note having occurred within the area.

We are now quickly moving towards the festive period and plans are already well under way to ensure local residents in the West and Pentlands are able to experience a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

The public play a vital role in helping us prevent crime and I would urge all members of our communities to make sure that their homes and outbuildings, which includes sheds and garages are appropriately secured at all times.

Criminals will be extra vigilant to anyone storing gifts and other valuables over the holiday season and it is extremely important that we don’t provide them with any opportunities to prosper.

Similarly, vehicles should always be locked when left unattended and where possible any items of value should not be left within. If you are visiting a shopping centre, be aware of anyone trying doors of cars and report any suspicious activity to police immediately.

In the coming weeks, many people will be heading out for Christmas parties and we want to make sure that alcohol doesn’t spoil a great evening.

High-visibility patrols within the West and Pentlands will be carried out over busy evenings and weekends to engage with the public and deter and detect criminal activity.

In addition, officers will also be speaking with the various licensed premises in the area to ensure staff are fully aware of their obligations and responsibilities and to prevent any incidents of alcohol-related disorder occurring within or around these venues.

We are committed to making sure the holiday season is memorable for our communities for all the right reasons and anyone who wishes further information on keeping safe or securing their properties can contact their local policing team or visit our website, www.scotland.police.uk

Chief Inspector Graham McInarlin is Local Area Commander, Edinburgh West