Moredun residents demand police patrols after gang riot involving 30 youths with knives

A community left terrified after a mass riot at Moredun and an increase in the threat of serious violence has demanded police step up “traditional” local patrols.

By Fiona Pringle
Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 8:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 8:40 am
Youths gathering in Moredun

Labour councillor Lezley Cameron called an urgent community meeting to give local parents, children and residents a forum to voice their concerns following a riot close to the Moredun high rise flats on April 15 involving over 30 youths, some of whom were armed with knives.

Over 60 people joined the meeting at the Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre, desperate to find a solution to the ongoing antisocial behaviour problems in the area.

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Youths gathering in Moredun

Cllr Cameron said: “We would have liked this issue to have been discussed sooner because myself and the management committee have been raising concerns for some time. We were fearful that something could happen, which sadly it did. I’d like to concentrate on the community coming together to reclaim their safety and their neighbourhood.

“The Liberton/Gilmerton ward is one of the most beautiful spaces and people shouldn’t be in fear of going out.One parent said the community had predicted knife crime was going to happen. “We knew it was going to happen,” she said. “Now we want to know what we can do to stop this.

“People are scared to go outside at night, afraid to walk their dogs and petrified of letting their kids go out to play, it’s not right. What can we do?”Jackie Stewart, a life-long service manager at Edinburgh City Council, said young people in the area are feeling similarly unsafe.

“Whether the risk to them is real, that is why they say they carry weapons such as knives,” she said. “We need them to be part of the solution.”

The community believes bringing a permanent police presence back to the area will help stave off further incidents as well as involving local high schools Gracemount and Liberton to get to the root of the problem.

Another parent said her child is too scared to visit neighbouring areas, because of the bubbling feud between “rival” schools, and suggested more dialogue is struck up between Gracemount and Liberton High.

She said: “There is a divide between the high schools and it is driving a divide between the local areas.

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray said he had surveyed 300 Moredun residents to try and understand “the issues they face” and how best to deal with them.