Mark Williams: Stay safe during the Festival

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WE are now at the start of Edinburgh’s Festival season and already the city is beginning to get busier, with thousands of visitors expected in the coming month.

Police Scotland may be in its infancy, but officers in Edinburgh have a wealth of experience in policing the Festival and we’re looking forward to working alongside our partners to keep people safe – whether they’re new to the city or local residents.

One message we are keen to highlight is for the public to keep their personal belongings safe and secure whilst enjoying the Festival. Valuables such as cameras, music players and tablet devices should never be left unattended or out on display. Whilst Edinburgh is a safe city, there are thieves that take advantage of the influx of tourists so take basic precautions.

Anyone looking for information on how to protect their goods can speak with the officers out on patrol, contact Police Scotland’s non-emergency number on 101, or join our social media discussion by following @EdinburghPolice on Twitter and use #FestivalPolicing.

During the Festival, the pubs and clubs across the city will have extended licences. While we want people to make the most of their nights out, please drink responsibly. Don’t ruin a great night out by drinking too much and putting yourself at risk.

If your planning a big night out then think ahead, take care of your friends and make sure you know how you are getting home safely.

We will have licensing officers on duty over the festival period and they’ll be focusing on busy nightime venues to prevent disorder. I expect them to take a firm stance when dealing with antisocial behaviour – have a great night out but think about the consequences of your actions.

Edinburgh is a fantastic city and is a great place to visit, live and work. My staff are here to keep you safe and if you need any help they will be there as quickly as possible.

• Chief Superintendent Mark Williams is Divisional Commander for the City of Edinburgh