Police launch security operation ahead of Edinburgh Festival

High security barriers installed on Edinburgh's Royal Mile to prevent terrorists from ramming vehicles into pedestrians. Picture; SWNS
High security barriers installed on Edinburgh's Royal Mile to prevent terrorists from ramming vehicles into pedestrians. Picture; SWNS
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Police Scotland has launched Operation Summer City as the capital gets set for the 70th anniversary of the International and Fringe festivals.

It comes after it was announced anti-vehicle barriers will be installed across the city for the first time, in the wake of recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.

The security measures have been introduced for the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe after a request from Police Scotland and the city council.

The security measures have been introduced for the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe after a request from Police Scotland and the city council.

Other measures planned for this year’s festivals include an increased police presence, non-uniform officers, and the opening of the “Unofficial Fringe Venue 999” in Princes Street Gardens.

Superintendent Lesley Clark said: “Come, have fun - it’s a wonderful experience, but just think about your safety.

“Think about your surroundings and, if you see anything of concern, if you don’t think it’s right, chances are it’s not right. So please let us know and we’ll follow that up.

“The National Barrier Asset (NBA) is in place purely and simply because, as we know this is the 70th anniversary, there will be an increase in the number of tourists.

“We can see that already and the festival hasn’t even begun.

READ MORE: Anti-terror barriers installed ahead of Edinburgh Festival

“So it’s just a sensible and proportionate way to provide additional security to a crowded place.”

NBA includes high security gates, portals and barriers which are designed to prevent hostile vehicle attacks on key or busy crowded place locations.

Horseback officers as well as dog units are among other increased security measures to be deployed.

READ MORE: Bag checks to be introduced at Edinburgh Festival shows

Police are aiming to concentrate on preventing crime by giving residents and visitors information about travel and where they can get help if they need it.

Two command points where the public can access help and advice are located at Princes Street Gardens and on the High Street next to the Fringe office.

Ms Clark added: “Summer City is the Police Scotland response to how we are going to provide additional facilities, additional visibility, to maximise the safety of the public.

“We have the training. If we are responding to a major incident, irrespective of where it is, we would muster well and we would be able to deliver a proportionate and appropriate response.”

For the second year, the force unveiled a mascot for the summer operation, with Amanda the panda being given the honour.

The operation was announced at The Stand Comedy Club, which is one of the festival venues.