'Hate crime won't be tolerated' - Police launch Edinburgh Festival initiative as city's population set to double
Police chiefs have sent out a message of reassurance to Edinburgh Festival visitors that hate crime of any sort will not be tolerated.
Each year, the Capital's population doubles as hundreds of thousands of people from across the world visit to enjoy the various events and experiences that take place within the Festival.
Edinburgh police have now launched their annual Operation Summer City initiative which aims to keep the public safe during the festival.
The popular 'Unofficial Frings Venue 999' - a mobile police station - will again be situation in Princes Street Gardens, with a further unit based in Hunter Square.
Officers this year also want to stress that, in addition to tackling crime trends like theft and disorder, particular focus will be placed on deterring offences such as hate crime, serious violence and sexual assault.
Chief Inspector Murray Starkey, who is leading on Operation Summer City, said: "Every year Edinburgh sees people of all nationalities, cultures and backgrounds visit and we want to make it abundantly clear that everyone is welcome here.
"Over the past few years, media reports have reflected issues of divisiveness, conflict and prejudice on a global scale. I want to reassure anyone coming to the Capital over the summer, and beyond, that hate crime of any sort will not be tolerated.
"My officers will be visible in many parts of the city over the coming weeks to prevent such incidents arising and providing a professional and dedicated response should they occur.
"We chose to launch this year's Operation Summer City at the Radison Blu, as they are a key hospitality and tourism partner and many of the Festival visitors will be staying here and at other city centre hotels over the summer.
"It is our hope that those coming to Edinburgh for the Festival will enjoy surroundings like this, rather than facing stays in hospital wards or prison cells.
"Police will also be available, either on patrol, or within Unofficial Fringe Venue 999, to provide really useful advice on crime prevention and personal safety. All of this information is also available on our website."