Edinburgh is returning to its best at last - Ch Supt Sean Scott
The lifting of virtually all coronavirus restrictions now means that most of the features that makes Edinburgh great are starting to re-emerge.
This is in no small way down to the significant sacrifices and efforts you have made over the past 18 months, including getting vaccinated. I would encourage everyone who can, especially the younger generation, who have been a bit slower on the uptake, to get vaccinated.
The city is starting to buzz again, which is so welcome, especially Edinburgh’s world-renowned night time economy. Our Operation Nightguard deployments have recommenced, with officers patrolling areas around licensed premises and conducting regular checks within to offer reassurance to staff and patrons and deter criminal activity.
We want everyone to be safe and really enjoy themselves so please ensure that, if you are on that long-awaited night out, you drink and behave responsibly and don’t let over-indulgence ruin things.
Other great news is that the Edinburgh Festival is back, albeit on a smaller scale but that still equates to a much busier city centre with hotels starting to fill again. Consequently, Operation Summer City has commenced, which my officers and staff really enjoy, as it’s an opportunity for them to meet and help people from across the globe in making the most of their visit, representing both the capital and its Police Scotland guardians in the best light possible.
The good news, so far, is that there have been very few issues with the vast majority of those attending Festival events and celebrations doing so in good spirits, while adhering to those remaining COVID precautions.
Our Edinburgh Division social media channels are continuing to provide the public with useful advice and guidance on how to stay safe during the Festival so please ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive these updates. Alternatively, visit www.scotland.police.uk where all of our personal safety and crime prevention advice is readily available 24/7.
Like me, you’ll have been enjoying the sunny weather over the past few weeks and with that, we have seen larger numbers of bicycles and motorcycles back on our roads. I would encourage all road users to be mindful of cyclists and motorcyclists, giving them plenty of space and time when passing or joining traffic.
Similarly, I would also encourage those who ride bikes of any sort to do all you can to stay safe on the road. This includes wearing high-visibility clothing and helmets, travelling at appropriate speeds and obeying all traffic signals and signage. Unfortunately, the increase in people using this healthier form of travel can lead to an unhealthy increase in bike thefts, if care isn’t taken around security. To that end, our Prevention, Intervention and Partnerships Department have been holding crime prevention stalls and bike marking events as part of the national Pedal Protect bike security campaign.
Please think seriously about getting your bike marked and contact your local policing team to arrange it – details are on our website at www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/road-safety/protecting-your-bike.
The summer comes…and then it goes to be replaced by all our autumn and winter responsibilities such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year. However, on top of those, it won’t have escaped your attention that the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November is on the horizon.
Edinburgh will have no small part to play in these globally important proceedings but I can reassure everyone that, with the eyes of the world on Scotland and its police service, careful and detailed planning is underway to ensure that all communities will still receive the quality, responsive service they need and deserve during that time.
As always, I look forward to working closely with partners for the planning phases of all these policing operations. Stay safe and I hope you all enjoy a great summer with everything that Edinburgh has to offer.
Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh