I would like to begin by reflecting on the recent shocking attacks on the Sikh Temple and Leith Methodist Church. The targeting of two separate places of worship has clearly been an upsetting and worrying time for the Sikh and Christian communities. Thankfully this appears to have been an isolated incident.
I will not tolerate any attempts to target communities by any misguided individual or groups. In the aftermath of the incidents I was able to put a significant number of Community, CID and Response resources into the investigation and local area, which allowed us to swiftly identify a suspect and put them before the court.
Since the incident my Community Inspector and Sergeant have been in daily contact with our friends from the Sikh Temple, which has sadly suffered from fire and smoke damage, and the groups and businesses that use the Methodist site. It’s heartening to hear that the Sikh community has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and kindness they have received from the wider Leith neighbourhood. Leith is renowned for being a welcoming, diverse and multicultural area and they have demonstrated this togetherness again this week.
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 relation to Operation Drift, our summer Portobello Promenade community safety operation.
The hot summer has attracted a large number of visitors to Portobello Promenade to take advantage of the beach, and cooling sea breeze. Throughout this period my Community Officers have been carrying out patrols of the area alongside Council Environmental Wardens and HM Coastguard. Other activities included bike marking, water safety and offering crime prevention advice.
Finally, as the schools return and the nights begin to get darker, I would like to turn my attention to road safety. I would remind those who do the school run not to park on zig-zag lines next to schools. Speeding is always a top concern in any community especially near schools. Drivers should always drive cautiously near schools and slow down.
My Community Officers are currently working with pupils in our local primary schools to design bespoke driver awareness leaflets which my officers will hand out to drivers during forthcoming weeks of action.
As always, I cannot stress enough the need for strong relationships with communities and our partners. Please speak to our community officers, phone 101 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. All our activity is highlighted on our Twitter account, @EdinPolNE, where you’ll find information about events, crime prevention and issues that matter to you.
Chief Inspector Kevin McLean is North East Edinburgh Area Commander.