Last weekend marked the start of yet another busy Festival period in the Capital. In its 70th year, we are as well practiced as the Fringe at what the Festival means for Edinburgh. Operation Summer City brings an increased officer presence in the city throughout August in order to maximise the safety and security of residents, visitors and businesses alike.
Project Servator takes this one step further, bringing highly visible but unpredictable deployments of specially trained officers into the Capital to Festival venues, transport networks and on to the streets themselves in an effort to disrupt, deter and detect any form of criminal activity. If you have concerns about someone’s behaviour please report it to us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can speak to officers in person at either of our two command points in the city centre. Our “Unofficial Fringe Venue 999” at East Princes Street Gardens and the Police Information Centre at 188 High Street will both be staffed throughout the Festival.
They will be providing key safety advice to the public, including the importance of getting home safely from nights out, keeping a close eye on your belongings and being alert to seasonal crime trends like pick-pocketing which we have previously received reports of due to the huge crowds the Festival brings.
Aside from the heightened city population and these expected challenges, we continue to respond and engage in business as usual. Housebreaking remains a high priority for us, with an unfortunate rise from our great successes last year being experienced at the moment. That said, I am pleased to report that as a result of my officers continuing to act upon intelligence and target prolific offenders, four have recently received significant sentences for crimes including housebreaking, robbery and motorcycle-related offences.
Initiatives like Stronger North continue to tackle various challenges we face in the north of Edinburgh. I can attribute the five-year drop in vandalism to operations like this and our close working with the council and other agencies, but more importantly, your co-operation – with the information we receive from members of the public, officers can both respond robustly and engage in proactive policing in areas where we are alerted to your concerns.
To further help shape policing in your community I urge you to take 15 minutes to complete our public consultation survey, which Police Scotland have recently re-launched for its second year. The survey can be found here: http://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/decision-making/public-consultation/local-policing-consultation/
Chief Superintendent Kenny Macdonald is Divisional Commander for Edinburgh