Kevin McLean: Police’s priorities are the public’s priorities

Police officers walking the beat in Leith.  Picture: TSPL

Police officers walking the beat in Leith. Picture: TSPL

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Listening to local concerns can make life better for us all, says Chief Inspector Kevin McLean

In my first column as local area commander for the north east of Edinburgh, I want to start by commending one of our officers who has been nominated for a Double Meritorious Award by Police Scotland. The officer’s actions were further raised as a ‘motion of thanks’ within the Scottish Parliament.

Earlier this year, Pc Jamie Humpage used his skills as a negotiator to talk down a man on the Crags at Arthur’s Seat. He was also one of two officers who commandeered a boat in the Portobello area to help two men in difficulty off the coast.

I’m delighted that Jamie’s hard work has been recognised in this way. He is an asset to our communities and a brilliant example of how our officers are able to assess a situation, take swift action and do whatever’s necessary to keep people safe.

My officers are based in Leith, Portobello, Craigmillar and Niddrie and cover the wards of Craigentinny/Duddingston, Portobello/Craigmillar, Leith and Leith Walk. Our communities have told us that they their biggest concerns are housebreaking, violent crime, drug offences and anti-social behaviour. Your priorities are our priorities and I will continue to ensure that there are resources dedicated to tackling these issues.

Across the city, Operation RAC continues to see great successes in reducing housebreaking and associated vehicle crime. Locally, the Divisional Violence Reduction Team has been undertaking dedicated activity in the Leith area relating to the management of individuals convicted of violent offences and acquisitive crime.

Operation Drift, an initiative to tackle antisocial behaviour, has been launched in the Portobello area. This activity, including high visibility patrols in and around the Promenade area will continue over the summer months to further deter and disrupt this activity with support from the City of Edinburgh Council.

Operation Domain continues and also aims to tackle anti-social behaviour and vandalism in the Craigentinny, Duddingston and Craigmillar areas. I’m happy to report that we’ve seen a reduction in this activity over the past few weeks. This has also led to two local youths being formally interviewed and given a warning in the presence of their parents, and another youth has been reported to the Children’s Reporter.

In the past month, officers have seized tens of thousands of pounds worth of drugs in the area, including quantities of cannabis and diamorphine. We are committed to disrupting the drugs trade and preventing drug-related crime, and will act on all the information we receive from the public.

I’d urge people to continue reporting their concerns to us via 101, by emailing your local Community Policing Team (details of which are on our website) or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In the coming weeks, local officers will be participating in various events across the city as we head into our busiest time of policing in the Capital. From my own personal experience, I know how enjoyable these opportunities are in terms of the positive interaction we have with our communities and tourists alike.

Further information on policing arrangements for events will be available in the near future, and I’d ask people to like ‘Edinburgh Police Division’ on Facebook and follow us on Twitter ‘@EdinPolNE’ for regular updates on local activity.