Edinburgh police officer known as ‘Tattoo Tony’ helps to change lives in his community

The unique policing style of PC Tony Lawrence has been a huge success across the north of Edinburgh for almost two decades.

By Shona Elliott
Friday, 26th November 2021, 4:55 am

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Known as ‘Tattoo Tony’ by locals, the community officer has worked on forging relationships during a difficult period for the communities of Granton and Wardieburn, especially helping to persuade young people away from a life of crime and encouraging them to pursue employment opportunities instead.

Mr Lawrence hit the headlines five years ago when he brought his own skateboard to a skatepark in order to engage and talk with local young people.

He is trained as a drugs awareness officer and in off-road motorbiking, allowing him to help address issues relating to motorbikes in the area.

He recently received his long service email from Chief Constable Iain Livingstone to recognise his 20 years of service to policing.

Prior to working in Edinburgh he served in Strathclyde Police for three years and has now been nominated for an award by the Scottish Police Federation(SPF) for his service to the community.

His SPF representative Stephen Neilson said: “Being a known face for many years has assisted in gaining the trust and confidence of people within the area.

Colourful character: PC Tony Lawrence Pic: Andy Barr

“Local knowledge and understanding of families has assisted Tony in being able to help guide many young people away from crime and towards a positive future in employment.

“Through his unique policing style, appearance and personal interests such as skateboarding/biking he has been able to captivate the attention of both older and younger people alike.

“Tony is a very passionate and creative officer and will go to great lengths to help his community.”

Other nominees include an Edinburgh detective who risked his own life by jumping into cold water at Leith Docks to rescue a drowning toddler.

PC 'Tattoo' Tony Lawrence Pic:Andy Barr

DC Glynn Powell has been praised for the selfless act after saving the three-year-old’s life.

He swam to the motionless toddler and took her to safety before giving her life-saving first aid on the edge of the dock.

The hero officer then took the casualty to his flat, where he waited for paramedics to arrive.

In 2018 he tackled a man who launched a terror attack on the Scottish Parliament and in another incident he stopped a man who threatened to throw his child out of a window.

PC Tony Lawrence has been nominated for his efforts in the community. Pic: Andy Barr

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