Edinburgh police step up patrols at Hermiston amid residents' concerns over 'Mega Meet' unofficial car rally

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Lothian Tory MSP Sue Webber says rally gatherings are causing ‘serious disturbance’

Extra police patrols are expected in the Hermiston area of Edinburgh this weekend after reports of dangerous anti-social behaviour from unofficial car rallies at the local park-and-ride facility.

Lothian Tory MSP Sue Webber said road patrols and community officers would be “dedicated” to an “Edinburgh Mega Meet” event planned for Saturday, December 2, at 7pm. The move comes after she raised residents’ concerns about previous gatherings. Advertised on Facebook, the meeting has already attracted over 650 responses.

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Local people have complained on five occasions in the past year. They claim there has been dangerous driving in the car park and on surrounding roads, as well as fireworks, loud music and drug taking.

The Mega Meet event has been advertised on Facebook and 655 people have responded.The Mega Meet event has been advertised on Facebook and 655 people have responded.
The Mega Meet event has been advertised on Facebook and 655 people have responded.

Ms Webber said: “I know officers are badly over-stretched and residents have been disappointed by the response in the past, but I am very glad the police are taking this seriously and will be out in force this weekend.

“Not only is there a chance that eventually someone will be seriously injured or even killed by reckless driving, but these gatherings are also causing a serious disturbance for nearby residents and they should be able to enjoy a Saturday evening without fear and alarm.”

She said that since she had raised the incidents with local commanders, investigations have shown that the organiser operates under a pseudonym and as he has not been traced, officers are due to be on site several hours before the event to engage with attendees. They will also provide advice about use of the facility and conduct in a public place.

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Ms Webber also said a request had been made to Facebook to take down the site, but it was still available this week. She said: “The very fact this man operates under an assumed name is a pretty strong clue that the law is not something which particularly concerns him, and there needs to be a longer term solution which prevents these gatherings from happening at all.”

Chief Inspector Paul Gillespie of Police Scotland said: “We are aware of a planned gathering in the Hermiston area on Saturday, December 2, 2023 and have an appropriate policing plan in place. Dangerous, reckless and anti-social use of motor vehicles will not be tolerated and we would urge any attendees to behave lawfully and responsibly and ensure their actions do not put themselves or others at risk.”