Jimmy Jones: Service is our priority

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Many of us look forward to Bonfire Night, but not everyone eagerly awaits the event, particularly if antisocial behaviour and other offences arise.

Sadly, a few inconsiderate people spoil the fun, as has been demonstrated recently with a number of concerning incidents involving reckless fireworks misuse and stone throwing.

To combat this, we have launched the multi-agency campaign – Operation Draft – in the east of Edinburgh, which forms part of a city wide Hallowe’en/fireworks initiative.

For the past week, Edinburgh officers have been conducting joint visits with council licensing staff and trading standards officers to registered fireworks retailers to ensure compliance, safe storage and appropriate sales policies are robustly enforced. As a result, we’ve recovered two deliveries of contraband fireworks destined for illegal distribution.

In the lead-up to bonfire night we will continue to deploy high-visibility joint patrols with the council and fire service to identify any unofficial or hazardous bonfire sites.

Patrols will be deployed throughout east Edinburgh, particularly to disorder hotspots, and any reckless or antisocial behaviour issues will be robustly dealt with.

Our school link officers have been working hard to deliver fireworks/bonfire safety messages in schools, so pupils know the consequences of illegal possession of fireworks and the risks of messing around with fireworks.

For information about fireworks and the law, visit www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/fireworks-safety/fireworks-and-the-law.aspx. Familiarise yourself with the Firework Code at www.saferfireworks.com.

Listening to the community is at the heart of our local policing plans and residents in the east have identified tackling drug crime as one of our priorities.

I am delighted to report that £100,000 worth of heroin was seized along with thousands of pounds of cash during a major operation last week, with 21 people charged, and we will continue to tackle organised crime.

We continue to target housebreakings through Operation RAC and since April the number of break-ins per month has reduced by over half, although our aim is to drive down those numbers further. 

• Chief Inspector Jimmy Jones is local area commander for Edinburgh East