Keeping Porty beach safe as lockdown eases - Chief Inspector Murray Tait
In the last few months, your North East Community Policing team have been working alongside the City of Edinburgh Council and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to help make Portobello beach safer for all.
At the end of March new numbered signs were installed along the length of Portobello Beach on top of the existing marker posts. These signs provide an immediate and visually prominent location reference, not just to members of the public but also to attending emergency services, lifeboats, coastguard rescue teams and search & rescue helicopters and have already been put to good use by the public.
We know from recent experience that the fair weather we’ve experienced during times of COVID lockdown has resulted in large numbers of people heading to Portobello Beach and on occasions this has resulted in incidents of disorder and even violence.
Lockdown restrictions have now eased and so we are expecting large numbers to visit the beach during the coming weeks, but I would urge everyone to behave responsibly, be respectful of their surroundings and not act in any way that puts yourself or others at risk.
Staying on the subject of COVID, we know that foreign travel is still somewhat limited, but that many of you will be looking to get away, either somewhere within the UK, or abroad, if permitted.
Please remember to take some time to think about the security of your home while you’re away. For example, do not advertise that your house is unoccupied on social media and when you are on holiday make sure all of your doors and windows are locked, with valuables stored safely out of sight.
If you’re not taking your vehicle with you then please ensure that it is also locked up safely with valuables removed or stored out of sight. We would also recommend leaving vehicle keys with someone you trust, so that in the event of a break-in, it is more difficult for housebreakers to also steal your vehicle.
Where possible, please ask that a friend, family member or neighbour to keep an eye on your property and consider cancelling deliveries of milk and newspapers for the duration of your break.
Likewise, you may also consider using the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service, which ensures they keep your mail safe for up to 6 days,
We have lots of useful advice on keeping your home and possessions safe on our website. If this is of interest to you, please visit www.scotland.police.uk.
Last week marked National Volunteers week and it worthy of note that our Special Constables deployed nationally for almost 100,000 hours last year. Being a Special Constable or a Youth Volunteer is a fantastic way to develop new skills whilst making a genuine contribution to your community.
I’d encourage anyone who may be interested to visit our website where you will find further details. You can find out more on becoming a member of our PSYV by visiting www.scotland.police.uk/.../police-scotland-youth. If you wish to learn more about joining Police Scotland as a Special Constable, then please visit www.scotland.police.uk/.../how-to-apply-special
Finally, you may have seen that we recently issued our Q4 Management of Information data, which shows that there has been an overall reduction in crime and a rise in detection rates. Some of the offences, which have fallen are murders, serious assaults, robberies and housebreakings. We recognise that the COVID lockdown measures of the past year may have contributed to the data we have recorded, but I want to assure all of the communities within the North East, and throughout Edinburgh, that we will continue to do everything we can to keep the city a safe place to live, work and visit.
Chief Inspector Murray Tait is Local Area Commander for North East Edinburgh