Mark Williams: Busy month for police

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It’s Festival time in the city and that means it is the busiest month of the year for local police officers and staff.

During August we see a big jump in thefts and many of these take place in the city centre. Criminals will target crowded places and take advantage of any opportunity so take a few moments to secure your valuables and reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

If you are out and about enjoying the extended licensing hours then remember to look after your mates and have a plan for getting home safely.

There is great advice on the police website at www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/tourists-and-visitors

Securing your home and vehicle is important too and local readers will know that my number one priority in Edinburgh is arresting housebreakers and car thieves.

Operation RAC has been a great success and we are making a big difference. Between March and July this year break-ins to homes have fallen by more than 58 per cent. In relation to motor vehicle crime we have seen a drop of more than 20 per cent compared with this period last year.

There is still a long way to go but I am confident that we will continue to reduce these crimes further over the weeks and months ahead.

Last year more than 6000 local residents and businesses responded to our consultation about local priorities. One of the key issues raised was road safety and I wanted to give you a quick update on how we are getting on with this really important work. The good news is that this year there has been a reduction of 29 per cent in those seriously injured and 24 per cent in those slightly injured as a result of road accidents. Local officers will continue to work with the council to reduce this further but it is a great start to the year.

This week for the first time I will be heading into the Evening News office to take part in a “Google Hangout”. It will give me a chance to answer questions from the public across a whole host of different topics.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to explain what your local officers are doing and it also offers me a chance to respond directly and honestly to any concerns and issues you want to raise. Local policing in Edinburgh is a vital part of the success of the city and hopefully this will become a regular feature in the future.