In my first column as Local Area Commander for South West Edinburgh, I’d first of all like to thank Inspector Alan Carson for the outstanding work he did in this role while I was on maternity leave.
Inspector Carson built on the already wonderful working relationship officers in the South West enjoy with the local communities, businesses and elected members and I fully intend to carry this on during my time here.
My first couple of months in this role have been extremely busy and challenging, but they have demonstrated to me the amazing levels of support the police receive from the public, and for that I am extremely grateful. This was best highlighted during the search for elderly missing man, William Scott from the Chesser area.
People from across the South West, wider Edinburgh area and even beyond, did everything they could to assist in our searches; from sharing our social media appeals, to coming forward and reporting potential sightings, and even getting involved in search activity.
As you will all be aware, sadly a man’s body was recovered from the docks in Leith last week and while formal identification has still to take place, we have informed William’s family and continue to support them at this time.
I’d like to finish my first ever column by discussing another issue, which is regularly in the minds of communities within the South West, and that is housebreaking.
Across Edinburgh we’ve seen great success in reducing both domestic and business housebreakings, but we recognise that, despite these successes, housebreaking is an extremely impactful crime given the invasion of your safe personal space. Whenever a home is broken into, the victims feel vulnerable, angry and in need of justice.
In the South West Operation Screening is our response to housebreaking, incorporating a mix of proactive patrols, crime prevention events and advice, targeted action and investigation.
Overall we have seen a seven per cent reduction in domestic houebreakings in the South West and solvency remains strong. However, we will be maintaining our focus.
You may also be aware of the recent success under Operation Parameter, the Division’s response to the theft of pedal cycles. As a result of this initiative, a male was charged in connection with over 60 bicycle thefts.
In addition, 31 bikes were recovered at a value of £14,000 and reunited with their owners.
We appreciate the measures which local resident have been taking to prevent further thefts and would ask for your continued support in ensuring your bikes are appropriately secured both at home and when out and about. If anyone would benefit from any crime prevention advice/support then please get in touch with our local community team, details of which can be obtained from the Police Scotland website.
Wishing you all a happy and successful New Year.
Chief Inspector Jordanna Emerson