Operation Summer City opens festivals - David Robertson

As Specialist Operations Superintendent for Edinburgh, I have responsibility for a broad portfolio which includes licensing, road safety, events planning and counter terrorism - areas which all come sharply into focus during a typical August.

Superintendent David Robertson
Superintendent David Robertson

It is with a sense of cautious optimism that that I am delighted to announce that later this week, once again our dedicated response to the Edinburgh Festival, Operation Summer City, commences as our beautiful city once again plays host to an understandably modest events programme.

While many of our larger recurring events have been unable to operate this year sadly, we have been working closely with our city partners to help make those events which will form part of this year's Festival as safe as possible during these uncertain times.

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As I write this, I'm delighted to learn that a move out of the levels system is just around the corner, however the policing plan which we will deliver in support of our partners' event and operating plans will reflect any remaining restrictions.

I share the concerns that many people reading this will have, I'm sure. Unfortunately there is no certainty around when restrictions will be fully lifted or how people will feel and behave when they are, and we must all continue to take personal responsibility to help prevent the spread of Covid 19 and to protect the NHS.

While we won't see the same level of international travel linked to the event for obvious reasons, early indications are that Edinburgh is going to be busy with visitors and with all the uncertainty in mind, I urge people to be careful, cautions and respect others' space and preferences as we all try to keep each other safe. To avoid being disappointed, please plan ahead, booking entertainment and refreshments in advance.

This will be an exciting but also challenging time for those working within the hospitality, catering, service and entertainment sectors and the emergency services, so please be patient and respectful. Those who will be working hard to deliver events or entrusted with public safety should not face the threat of violence or abuse, and we will act quickly to identify anyone suspected of behaving in such a way.

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This I'm sure will be the first opportunity many will have had to enjoy live entertainment in some time and for that reason, please visit https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/safe-nights-out/ to find practical advice about how to keep yourselves and others safe when out an about enjoying the Festival. Stay tuned to our social media channels for further information to help you keep your valuables secure, stay safe on nights out and get home safely.

We look forward to speaking to you while out and about, so say "Hi" to our #OpSummerCity officers on patrol, who are making sure you have a #SafeSummer.

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Grab a selfie and tag us on Twitter - @EdinburghPolice. Superintendent David Robertson