Public play vital role in shaping police priorities - CS Sean Scott

In what will be my final column of 2021 I want to reflect on what has been another memorable year, in many different ways, for the city of Edinburgh and its communities.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 7:00 am
Chief Superintendent Sean Scott outside St Leonard's Police Station, Edinburgh Picture: Neil Hanna Photography

First, and once again, I thank you, the Edinburgh public, for your unstinting support of our approach to policing during the COVID pandemic. Much has been said about what has taken place and, of course, we aren’t out of the woods yet with the appearance of the Omicron variant. However, let’s continue to be positive, maintain your overwhelming compliance with health and safety guidance and we can hopefully look forward to a prosperous and healthy future.

In addition to the public health imperative, last month also saw a global spotlight placed on Scotland for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Despite the main conference taking place at the other end of the M8, this was very much a national policing operation for Police Scotland and hundreds of officers and staff from the Capital were deployed to support their colleagues in the West. Having now returned to their core duties, I’m sure you will be reassured to know that they represented Edinburgh Division impeccably through their dedication and professionalism in what was a significant and demanding couple of weeks.

Equally as importantly, those personnel who remained within Edinburgh to deal with the day to day ‘business as usual’ policing requirements for the city, worked incredibly hard in ensuring that Edinburgh’s communities continued to receive the best possible service with minimum disruption. My sincere thanks to them, all of our partners and the wider public for ensuring that Scotland’s reputation for safely hosting world-class events was enhanced.

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We recently launched this year’s Operation Winter City, our annual policing campaign to keep not only the people of Edinburgh safe over the festive period, but also those coming into the city centre to enjoy the range of activities and attractions on offer.

After the cancellation of all festive events last year, it’s so good to see the centre of Edinburgh become increasingly busy with both locals and visitors keen to make up for lost revelry time. At the same time, it is essential that we do all we can to keep people safe and so we have officers on high-visibility patrols to engage with the public, offer crime prevention and public safety information and of course, respond to any criminal activity that unfortunately arises.

We have also set up a ‘pop-up’ police station within the lower-level of the Waverley Market and anyone wishing to report a crime or to obtain any of our safety literature is welcome to drop in. I am very grateful to our colleagues at Waverley Mall for providing us with this very central and very visible hub to base ourselves in during Operation Winter City.

All of our festive safety messaging is on our social media channels, so please ‘like’ Edinburgh Police Division’s Facebook page and follow @EdinburghPolice on Twitter if you want to view these.

Looking ahead to 2022, we will continue to focus our efforts on addressing the policing priorities for the Capital. You all play a vital role in shaping these priorities through your engagement with us at community councils, local police surgeries and by participating in our regular policing surveys. Your views really do matter – any, and all, feedback we receive is welcomed.

On behalf of everyone here at Edinburgh Division and the wider Police Scotland, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and peaceful new year.

Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh