Capital Cops: Community festival shows the best of us as a society - Neil Wilson

The North Edinburgh Community Festival held at West Pilton Park on Saturday, May 13 was a truly glorious day in all respects.
Chief Inspector Neil WilsonChief Inspector Neil Wilson
Chief Inspector Neil Wilson

An event conceived, planned and delivered by the community for the community, which showcased the rich and diverse range of talents and resources within the North West locality. Even the weather was on message delivering the hottest day of the year.

The Rapid Relief Team, Kings Church Street Café, SpaceBroomhouse, The Scran Van, Project Esperanza and others provided food and refreshments while the Tinderbox Orchestra, Granton Youth and Ukrainian choir, to name but a few, entertained the crowds which topped 8,000 during the course of the day. It was a real privilege to have been involved and my Community Policing Team and School Link Officers embraced the opportunity to engage with the communities we serve.

A particular high point were the connections made with young people to signpost the wealth of opportunities available in the locality including the arts, sports, training, education and youth and voluntary groups. The day provided a great insight into an array of positive life choices and the enthusiasm and interest of those who interacted with the various stalls and activities was clear for all to see.

The City of Edinburgh Council and Action for Children, who are leading the Contextual Safeguarding project to explore the challenges posed by child criminal exploitation and identify what more we can do collectively to ensure children are and feel safe, were on hand to speak with young people and their families and many informative conversations were had.

The Edinburgh Division Prevention, Interventions and Partnerships team were in attendance to provide insight into our work with communities to tackle hate crime and support victims. They were assisted by Police Scotland Youth Volunteers who also made a significant contribution to the success of the day.

This type of community event, in my view, epitomises the best of us as a society. The coming together to celebrate, socialise, experience different cultures, refresh longstanding acquaintances and forge new connections is an age old tradition, which strengthens relationships, enhances understanding and enables the sharing of different perspectives.

As we enter the summer, there is much on the horizon to look forward to with a variety of events in prospect which we are working with organisers and partners to ensure are safe and secure. These range from gala days to the recent series of concerts at Murrayfield stadium, Pride, the Royal Highland Show and, of course, the Festival and Fringe.

We are continually looking to improve and shape our service to meet community needs and your feedback informs what we do nationally and locally. Have your say at

Chief Inspector Neil Wilson is Local Area Commander, North West Edinburgh