Edinburgh police: new policy bans people from pubs who commit alcohol related crimes until conclusion of trial

Operation Winter City imposes stricter bail conditions for people arrested for crimes related to alcohol
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Police in Edinburgh have launched Operation Winter City 2023 to keep everyone visiting, living and working in the city safe over the festive period. The strategy will also impose stricter bail conditions on people committing crimes linked to alcohol until the conclusion of their trial.

Running until 6 January, 2024, officers will carry out high visibility patrols throughout the city centre to engage with the public and offer reassurance, deter criminal activity and respond to any incidents arising. Police will also operate a pop-up stall inside Waverley Market where officers will provide crime prevention and security advice.

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Superintendent Sam Ainslie, Gold Commander for Operation Winter City, said: “As always we remain committed to keeping the public in Edinburgh safe and our presence within the city centre is enhanced over the festive period. We want locals and visitors alike to enjoy the various attractions safely whether that be our green and cultural spaces, entertainment venues, or retail premises.

Operation Winter City in Edinburgh will be in effect until January 6, 2024Operation Winter City in Edinburgh will be in effect until January 6, 2024
Operation Winter City in Edinburgh will be in effect until January 6, 2024

“The public have a vital role to play in helping us to ensure that their and everyone’s visit is safe and enjoyable. Please help us to prevent crime by reporting anything they believe to be suspicious to us, and whilst it may seem overly simple, being mindful of the whereabouts of your personal belongings, planning your transportation for nights out in advance, making sure your mobile phone is charged, drinking responsibly and looking out for those you are out with, can all help.”

The initiative also involves a ‘Think Twice’ policy - which imposes tougher bail restrictions on people arrested for crimes pertaining to alcohol. Superintendent Ainslie said: “I would ask that people remain aware of their limits when drinking, so as not to ruin their or someone else’s night out through over-consumption of alcohol. You will undoubtedly see our officers out on patrol, engaging with licensed premises staff and keeping Edinburgh’s communities safe.

“Violent or anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated, and on a cautionary note, should you become involved in a crime linked to alcohol, we can impose ‘Think Twice’ bail conditions, which will mean that you won’t be permitted to visit another pub, club or shop that sells alcohol in the city centre until the conclusion of your trial. Please don’t take the risk.”

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The Superintendent added: “On behalf of everyone here in Edinburgh Division, I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Joe Fitzpatrick, Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning, said: “I am delighted to support the launch of Police Scotland’s Operation Winter City, an important campaign to keep everyone safe over this busy holiday period, including our vital retail workers.

“It is vital we recognise the essential role retail workers perform in our society and want to ensure not only are they protected and able to thrive – but that everyone feels safe to enjoy the upcoming festive season free from retail crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Mr Fitzpatrick added: “As we enter this period of increased activity across our retail sector, I would urge everyone to closely follow the advice set out by Police Scotland under Operation Winter City, and for everyone to have a safe Christmas shopping experience.”