Chief Inspector Kevin McLean: Beware of those bogus workmen

I would like to begin my column by paying tribute to my Community Officers for their continued hard work and dedication in tackling crime throughout North East Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 20th September 2017, 7:00 am
Bogus workmen target the most vulnerable members of our communities

We have experienced a number of bogus workmen crimes in the area. These are despicable crimes, which target the most vulnerable members of our community.

My officers have been working diligently to identify those responsible and I’m pleased to report that we had a breakthrough.

Through their routine patrols and public engagement, they observed a bogus workmen offence being committed and a male was detained in connection with this, before being charged with a number of recent crimes.

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Unfortunately, it is the vulnerable members of the public who are often perceived to be easy victims and it is thanks to the information and support provided by our vigilant communities that we were able to protect victims from any further harm.

Protecting and supporting vulnerable members of our community is an important aspect of modern policing and one of my priorities as Local Area Commander for the North East.

That’s why I have dedicated community officers who are now also FAHST officers. Despite the title, they are not selected for their physical attributes, but rather their speed of thought. Launched in October 2016, my Family and Household Support (FAHST) officers work in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council’s Housing Support, Family Support and Community Safety Departments.

In the words of Aristotle “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. It’s something I really believe in. Our FAHST officers work closely with other professionals to achieve positive results for individuals and the wider community.

Each morning, my officers review every call we’ve received over the previous 24 hours and then liaise with our partners on issues relating to theses incidents such as housing, antisocial behavior and additional support needs for vulnerable people.

Through a daily sharing of information, partnership working and getting the right people involved at the right time, we have achieved some excellent outcomes for individuals and the wider community in North East Edinburgh. This in turn has reduced the number of repeat calls we are attending to certain addresses.

We recently received a number complaints about parking and antisocial behavior in a particular street. Further investigation revealed the owner of the vehicles was also involved in criminality. By working with partners we were able to build a picture of the issues in the area which resulted in the property being searched under warrant and various stolen properties, a stolen vehicle and drugs recovered.

I cannot stress enough the need for strong relationships with communities and our partners. Please speak to our community officers, phone 101 or phone CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. All our activity is highlighted on our Twitter account, @EdinPolNE, where you’ll find information about events, crime prevention and issues that matter to you.

Chief Inspector Kevin McLean is Local Area Commander for North East of Edinburgh.