Chief Inspector Stevie Sutherland: Battle against bike crime continues
Having recently taken over the reins in North West Edinburgh I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in this wonderfully diverse area of the city.
This month, the North West is welcoming a number of national resources to support local officers with our ongoing Operation Myriad.
This initiative was highly successful in the summer months with over 70 arrests made and numerous motorcycles recovered. We also carried out some high visibility road policing initiatives and gathered intelligence, which led to drugs recoveries.
More of the same will take place over the next few weeks and I look forward to our partners also being part of that work in community clean ups, joint patrols with environmental wardens as well as DVLA and Lothian Buses assisting us in planned days of action.
Motorcycle activity in the area has seen a general decline since the change of season, not to mention the horrendous incident where a 10- year-old boy was struck by a stolen motorcycle on Ferry Road.
Thankfully, the child continues to make a recovery and our best wishes go to him and his family for his continued bravery after such a traumatic event left him requiring significant medical attention, both then and now.
At present, the main concern for myself as the Local Area Commander is the theft of pedal cycles. Often very expensive bikes are being stolen from out-houses and sheds. These sheds are often secured by very cheap padlocks which are easily overcome by would-be thieves. Can I ask that you give careful consideration to purchasing low-cost shed alarms or substantial padlocks or locks and hasps? Anything which can deter the thief or delay them in getting what they want is worth it. Security lighting is also a great deterrent to these people and further basic crime prevention advice can be obtained from www.scotland.police.uk.
Last year in both the north and the west of Edinburgh we saw an increase in anti-social behaviour in relation to fireworks misuse. We are heading towards that time of year again and I would appeal to all shopkeepers and local residents to be on the lookout for youngsters attempting to buy fireworks or adults proxy purchasing them on behalf of children
We will be working closely with our partners in the Scottish Fire and Rescue service, the City of Edinburgh Council and Trading Standards to carry out early identification of unauthorised bonfire sites, uplifts of materials likely to be used for bonfires and also robust policing of the sale of fireworks to young people.
This time of year can be a great opportunity for parents to take their children out to authorised bonfire firework displays but all too often the minority can spoil it for these families due to their recklessness and ignorance of public safety.
I ask that if you know of any retailer selling fireworks to children, or any planned disorder around Guy Fawkes night that you contact 101 or make use of the anonymous Crimestoppers phone number of 0800 555 111. We need your help to try to ensure that bonfire weekend is one which families and children can enjoy in a safe environment.
Chief Inspector Stevie Sutherland is Local Area Commander for North West Edinburgh