I WOULD like to begin my column by recognising the tremendous bravery of two of my officers, who were hospitalised in the line of duty.
On the evening of 24 April, a fire broke out within a flat in Constitution Place, putting the lives of occupants and the rest of the common stair in great danger.
Two of my constables were on passing patrol when they saw the flames and quickly came to the aid of the residents, assisting with evacuations and suffering smoke inhalation in the process.
Both were taken to hospital for overnight observation before being released. They have since returned to duty and will be nominated for Meritorious Awards.
Thanks to their selfless actions, around 40 occupants were removed from the flat block without injury.
On another positive note, I want to highlight the excellent work that continues to be carried out throughout the north east of the city in tackling motorcycle crime.
We are fully aware of the distress anti-social behaviour and offences involving motorcycles causes our communities, and through the Operation Soteria campaign, we have worked closely with a range of partner agencies to tackle this issue and prevent further incidents.
Thankfully, our efforts have now started to see results, with motorcycle thefts in north east Edinburgh having decreased over the past 12 months. We will, however, not become complacent following this success and will continue to do all we can to reduce bike theft further and bring those responsible to justice.
The national campaign to tackle doorstep crime and bogus workmen offences, Operation Monarda, will shortly commence its next phase and from 21 May we shall be carrying out a range of engagement and education activities aimed at providing the public with information to stop them becoming victims.
Our communities are our best asset in stopping doorstep crime and I would urge the public to remain vigilant for suspicious people or activity around the homes of elderly and vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours. If you have any concerns at all then please contact us immediately on 101.
Finally, on Sunday 27 May Edinburgh and East Lothian will host the second day of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, with thousands of participants and spectators expected to attend the marathon and half marathon.
Although we have worked closely with the event organisers and City of Edinburgh Council to minimise disruption to the local communities, road closures and diversions will be in place, so please be mindful of potential delays and try to plan any journeys in advance.
Areas affected will include the city centre, with the starting line in Potterrow and continuing onto Princes Street via George IV Bridge, Holyrood Park, Craigentinny and Portobello, and finishing in East Lothian.
We look forward to supporting a safe and enjoyable start to the event for all attending and wish the participants the best of luck.
Chief Inspector Kevin McLean is Local Area Commander for North East Edinburgh.