Kenny MacDonald: Calling 101 keeps police free for emergencies

The new campaign aims to keep people safe. Pic: John Devlin
The new campaign aims to keep people safe. Pic: John Devlin
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LIKE many other organisations, communication is key in enabling us to do our jobs properly. This process starts with you, which is why we have an ongoing campaign to help make sure people know how best to get in touch.

Call 999 if a crime is in progress, there is a risk of injury or loss of life, or if a suspect is nearby. Call 101 to report a crime that’s already happened, to speak to a local officer, get crime prevention advice, or make us aware of policing issues in your area.

Using 101 for situations that don’t require an immediate police response helps keep 999 available for genuine emergencies. I’d also like to remind people that social media is not a tool for reporting crime, but attending your nearest station or speaking to an officer are other options.

Another ongoing campaign is the Air Weapon Surrender Scheme, which launched on May 23. Over 2300 air weapons were surrendered within the first week, with 149 of these by Edinburgh residents. Thank you to everyone who has come forward so far.

The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act comes fully into effect on December 31. The new law requires any person who possesses, purchases, uses or acquires an air weapon to have a certificate to hold them legally. 

You can find out how to apply for a licence by visiting airweapon.scot and, if you don’t want to apply for a certificate, you can surrender your weapon at Fettes or Corstorphine Police Stations.

In May, a number of officers were recognised for their hard work in the Capital. Two officers reached the final three in a national newspaper’s Our Heroes Awards for saving the life of a man who suffered multiple heart attacks in the street.

A further two officers were recognised locally for their quick thinking and bravery in rescuing two men in the water at Portobello by commandeering a boat. I’m proud to say that my officers continue to act courageously to keep people safe.

However, the most fearless of all are undoubtedly the officers who took part in the Running Man Challenge...

After being nominated by NYPD, five of our officers showed some classic moves outside Edinburgh Castle. The clip reached over seven million people within a few days on social media, and we hope it showed our human side and made people smile.

This also shows how powerful social media can be as a form of communication, and I’d urge everyone to like us on Facebook at Edinburgh Police Division and follow us on Twitter @EdinburghPolice for regular updates on policing in your community.

• Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald is divisional commander for Edinburgh