Andy McLean: We can crack criminals together

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I am police commander for the east of Edinburgh with responsibility for leading 100 uniformed officers.

The area is as busy as it is diverse and is home to approximately 50,000 residents across Craigmillar, Portobello, Craigentinny and Duddingston.

My officers work 24/7, responding to calls from the public who require assistance. I am very proud to be part of a team that’s responsible for protecting our communities and targeting the criminals that operate there.

Community policing is at the heart of everything we do and it’s great to see that in recent weeks this has been strengthened with the arrival of additional community officers. These officers work closely with colleagues from partner agencies, including Edinburgh City Council, social work, housing, emergency services and volunteer organisations.

We have an excellent relationship with residents and work with them to identify and address quality of life issues. This ensures that people not only feel safer but play an active role in priority setting and shaping the community.

An example of this is the antisocial use of motorbikes – a long-standing scourge within our community. In the last few months we have had significant success in reducing offences relating to motorbikes.

The introduction of Police Scotland has brought with it many advantages. We now have much more access to specialist resources like the air support unit and – along with the dog section and roads policing – specialist support has been pivotal to reducing this problem.

It goes without saying, however, that we are reliant on partners and, most importantly, the community.

By working together, we have gathered intelligence, arrested a number of people and recovered 11 stolen motorbikes. One individual was arrested for theft of two bikes but was then identified for and charged with a further 77 offences.

As part of our commitment to prevention, we will continue to liaise with residents who own motorcycles and provide them with advice and guidance on safeguarding them.

The area has enjoyed success in reducing robberies by 67.5 per cent and serious violent crime by 43 per cent compared to the previous year.

I look forward to further success alongside our partners and communities as we work together to keep the East of Edinburgh safe.

Follow us on Twitter @Edinburgheastpolice.

Chief Inspector Andy McLean is area commander for East Edinburgh