Edinburgh wins title of UK’s safest destination

Edinburgh was ranked comfortably ahead of its nearest rival, Bristol, in the YouGov survey. Picture: Scott Taylor
Edinburgh was ranked comfortably ahead of its nearest rival, Bristol, in the YouGov survey. Picture: Scott Taylor
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A MAJOR new survey has revealed that the Capital is seen as the safest city in Britain – with nearly seven in ten hailing Edinburgh’s “peaceful and secure” streets.

The YouGov poll found that just 14 per cent of Britons believe the city to be unsafe, compared with 38 per cent who reckon Glasgow is dangerous.

The results – based on answers from 1724 adults across the UK – put the Capital comfortably ahead of its nearest rival, Bristol, and have been welcomed by community, political and police leaders.

Audrey Cavaye, secretary at New Town and Broughton Community Council, said the figures confirmed a positive feeling on the ground, but stressed robust local policing would be crucial to ensuring the trend continues.

She said: “It has to be very pleasing if that’s the result that’s coming out – personally, I would agree that it’s a safe city.

“[What will keep it that way] is just having local police out and about. So long as they are seen, I think that’s the main deterrent. Then it’s just people being sensible and not walking through places they don’t know or which are unlit, or taking shortcuts.”

Opposition politicians said the survey result was thanks to the city’s residential character, even in central areas, and called for renewed efforts to protect its diverse neighbourhoods.

Councillor Joanna Mowat, Conservative member for the city centre, said: “We should not be complacent – we should make sure that we continue to create that attitude. What I think really makes the city safe is that we have a living population in the city centre.

“It’s usually after dark that people do not feel safe, but if they’re walking through the city centre, they’re walking through living communities.

“That’s why we must continue to support residents living in the city centre and make sure it, and other areas of Edinburgh, are great places to live.”

Police chiefs said they would work tirelessly to ensure operations reflect local priorities.

Chief Superintendent Mark Williams, Edinburgh divisional commander, said: “It is very pleasing to see that the safety of Edinburgh is held in such high regard across the country, with tourism playing a big part in the life of the city and the number of visitors booming particularly in the summer months.

“No matter whether you live or work in the Capital or are a visitor, our priority is keeping people safe and feeling safe.

“We are currently consulting with communities around our annual policing plans to ensure that we continue to tackle those issues with our partners that matter the most to our residents and businesses.”

City chiefs said they were “not surprised” at the Capital’s strong showing – which saw Glasgow ranked eighth and Bradford last in the top ten.

Councillor Cammy Day, community safety leader, said: “It’s great news that Edinburgh remains one of the, if not the, safest city in the UK. Our own people’s survey showed 91 per cent of residents said they felt safe after dark.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com