It’s been pleasure and a privilege to get back around the (virtual) table with friends and colleagues from the many partner agencies involved in the events sector, to collaborate once again in the safe delivery of our major events. From local gala days, pre-planned and spontaneous protests and sporting events, to concerts by international recording artist across the city, our events planning team and event policing leads have been working flat out to help to deliver safe and secure events.
With so many music events and festivals across the city, I would encourage music lovers, promoters and venue operators to have safety at the forefront of their minds. Have a look at the most up to date safety guidance available by following the #BeSafeBeSound campaign. Arrive early, be patient with security checks, don’t bring unnecessary items, be vigilant and report any concerns to security or police.
Our work around public safety has seen an international influence since travel restrictions eased, as we recently welcomed officers from across the United States to the Capital to consider use of force, de-escalation and public trust and confidence. We are collaborating too with a number of European law enforcement agencies to ensure we maximise the available opportunities to deliver the most effective tactics in order to keep those who live, work and visit Edinburgh safe particularly around our public spaces.
It’s been great to see our vibrant night time economy return to normality after such disruption over the last few years, and I am very grateful for the patience and co-operation shown by the licence trade, working with our community policing and licensing teams during this unprecedented period. Providing high visibility patrols each and every weekend to support those involved in the service industry continues to be a priority for us under #OpNightGuard where officers work alongside taxi marshals, environmental wardens, night time teams and CCTV operators from the City of Edinburgh Council.
Over the last month we have provided additional focus around off sales too, with our “It’ll Cost You” campaign, intended to discourage people from buying alcohol on behalf of those underage. Divisional licensing officers and community policing teams have been visiting licensed premises across the city offering advice and guidance on how to spot and prevent these “proxy” sales. With the school holidays quickly approaching, I would encourage parents and guardians to discuss the dangers associated with underage drinking with their children.
If you are taking to the roads to get out of the city, please take the time to think about the safety of yourself and others. Our divisional personnel will be working hard to support our specialist roads plicing colleagues deliver “Seatbelt month” through to the end of June when the focus shifts towards our seasonal drink drive campaign. If you are planning to head to any of our nearby reservoirs please remember there are many hidden dangers which are not immediately obvious and I would encourage you to follow the advice and guidance promoted by Scottish Water https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/In-Your-Area/Visiting-our-Reservoirs/Enabling-Responsible-Access/Water-Safety.
As I look ahead to the challenges the summer will no doubt bring, I am confident that our response, community and investigative teams are well supported by the committed officers and staff that work within specialist operations, to respond appropriately to the broad range of events and operations across Edinburgh over the coming months, not least the International Festival.
Please keep yourselves and each other safe this summer. We look forward to seeing you out an about after so long so why not say hi, grab a summer selfie and tag us on Twitter - @EdinburghPolice.
Superintendent David Robertson, Specialist Operations, Edinburgh Division