Looking forward to Spring in the city’s south west - Paul Gillespie

Having started as the local area commander for South West Edinburgh in September 2023, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few months in post.
Chief Inspector Paul Gillespie, Local Area Commander, South West EdinburghChief Inspector Paul Gillespie, Local Area Commander, South West Edinburgh
Chief Inspector Paul Gillespie, Local Area Commander, South West Edinburgh

I am surrounded by great police officers and staff who are all dedicated to improving the lives and wellbeing of people, places and communities across the city of Edinburgh.

We enjoyed a busy festive period with positive engagements with our communities. Police officers from the South West supported the delivery of Operation Winter City, which saw a significant number of people enjoy the events in the city centre. Our local policing teams have since continued to deal with challenging and dynamic incidents in the city, and have done so with outstanding professionalism. We are looking forward to the spring, and the lighter nights, where we will focus on the prevention of anti-social behaviour across our local communities, supporting partners to deliver diversion projects.

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South West Edinburgh is unique in the city, with a significant rural footprint in the Pentlands. Our Community Policing team will shortly be launching Operation Harefield, where we will be conducting increased patrols in the area throughout March and April, to counter anti-social behaviour and wildlife crime.

The aim of these patrols is to raise awareness by engaging and educating those wishing to enjoy the countryside, whilst preventing incidents of sheep worrying and associated crimes.

If you are a dog owner and you plan to take your animal for a walk within the Pentland Hills, or any other open space that is likely to have livestock present then please remember that it is your responsibility to keep your dog under control at all times. If there is any chance that they could cause injury or distress to livestock, or another dog, then please keep them on a lead.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock)(Scotland) Act 2021 came into force in November 2021 to tackle the issue of out of controls dogs attacking and worrying animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, camelids (alpacas/lamas), ostriches, farmed deer, enclosed game birds or poultry. Under this new law, owners of dogs that attack or worry livestock can be fined up to £40,000 or even sent to prison for up to 12 months. Of course, it’s not just the potential consequences to you personally that should be considered, as injury or death to livestock can have a devastating impact on those within the farming community and we must work together to prevent such incidents occurring.

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Looking ahead to the summer, myself and a number of officers from the South West will be part of the Operation Summer City team, supporting the safe delivery of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. As ever, this promises to be an outstanding event, where our officers will engage with people from across the globe. Please follow us on Twitter @EdinPolSW where you can keep up to date with what the policing team are doing in the South West of Edinburgh during the spring and summer months.

​Chief Inspector Paul Gillespie is Local Area Commander, South West Edinburgh

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