Leader: ‘Assistance from west is to be welcomed’

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SEEING Glasgow cops regularly on duty in Edinburgh is going to take some getting used to – especially for the west coast’s finest.

Most beats in the Capital must seem like a breeze to anyone who has faced the challenge of keeping order on a Saturday night in 
Sauchiehall Street.

But their assistance has to be welcomed with open arms if it helps make Edinburgh’s streets safer.

The members of the new National Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit – who were part of the former Strathclyde force – will now be deployed to trouble spots across 
Scotland.

It is a positive sign of the future in the early days of Police Scotland as we get used to the single force 
structure.

Being able to share experience as well as personnel is no longer the bureaucratic nightmare it perhaps once was. There are no borders of jurisdiction.

Lessons learned on the streets of Glasgow can now be used to help police Edinburgh on a Saturday night and vice-versa.

And then you have the unexpected benefit of the mode of travel for the first group of Glasgow officers to arrive in the Capital yesterday.

Travelling en masse by train is sure to have had a positive impact. As well as providing a higher-profile presence for the police, it is a neat bit of PR for the new force.

After all the concerns about the potential pitfalls of a national police force, it is good to see some tangible benefits on the streets.

Local knowledge will remain key for officers walking the beat in Edinburgh, but being able to call on reinforcements of a specialist national unit is an important new tool.

Simply the best

It was a crime summed up in our front page headline – “the lowest of the low”.

The thief who targeted a blind student learning how to use an iPad at the Central Library was said to have “shattered the faith in humanity” of those taking part in the popular classes. It was a despicable theft which threatened the future of the project and rightly caused outrage.

If that crime was an example of the worst in humanity then today, thankfully, we see the best.

Following the publicity in the Evening News, a city business has offered to replace the stolen item to enable the classes to continue, while another anonymous businessman has made a similar pledge.

Well done to them for stepping in and saving the day.

Faith restored.