Mark Williams: Look out for young and old

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WHILST not wishing to dampen the summer spirit, I want to reflect on a number of sobering issues that have made the news over recent weeks. Firstly, I want to start by reflecting on the deplorable attack on an elderly resident in Morningside.

This was a shameful and cowardly incident and 
I want to assure the public that Police Scotland is doing everything possible to find whoever was responsible. There are significant resources working on this inquiry and I would appeal to anybody who has any information to contact them directly on 101 or through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Your response so far has been outstanding but every scrap of information, no matter how small, makes a difference – please contact us if you think you can help.

Detectives working on this investigation are keeping an open mind as they build up a detailed understanding of what took place but regardless, it is important that you look out for neighbours, particularly if they are elderly. We have some excellent advice on our website on doorstep crime and keeping safe and I would encourage you to read it and pass it on. You can find it at www.scotland.police.uk.

Sadly, over the summer holiday period we often see a rise in casualties on the roads and you may have read about some of those accidents over recent days. I would particularly like to appeal to you to look out for kids during the school break. Children don’t have the same road sense as adults so taking some time to discuss road safety with them and keeping a watchful eye over them makes a huge difference. Last year we cut the number of children killed and seriously injured on the roads of the Capital by over 28 per cent – I’d like your support in keeping that reduction going.

On the subject of keeping safe, I want to also remind you of the perils of open water swimming. The tragic incident at Bonaly Country Park that led to the death of 14-year-old Bockarie Sonnah is a harrowing reminder of the dangers associated with open water and outdoor swimming. Even strong swimmers can get into difficulty and I would urge you all to take care and be cautious.

On a more upbeat note, this week Scotland welcomes the Commonwealth Games to our shores. We will be hosting the diving competition at the Royal Commonwealth Pool and I am certain it will bring a real buzz to the city. My officers will be working there and elsewhere in Scotland to ensure the Games are safe and secure for all those attending. Of course, there will be little rest for them after the Games as we move straight into the Festival and busy month of August. More of that in my next column but in the meantime enjoy the sun, the Games and the school holidays!