Roadmap out of lockdown is lifting spirits - Supt Mark Rennie

Last week, the First Minister outlined the proposed roadmap out of lockdown and while we are still a few weeks away from restrictions being eased, it is a very positive and welcome step in the right direction for us all.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 7:00 am
Supt Mark Rennie
Supt Mark Rennie

The roll-out of the vaccine has undoubtedly played an important role in the infection rate and hospital admissions falling, however, what has played an equally, if not more significant part in getting us to this stage, are the personal sacrifices that our communities throughout Edinburgh have made.

I want to thank everyone who has continued to stay at home and who has adhered to all of the guidelines and restrictions in place. Your efforts are very much appreciated and I hope some sense of normality is now on the horizon.

Despite the overwhelming majority of people doing what has been asked of them, sadly there are still those who are flouting the regulations and putting themselves and others at risk. Every weekend, Edinburgh Division officers are responding to numerous reports of house parties and illegal gatherings of people from multiple households.

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Whenever we come across a breach of COVID legislation, we engage with those involved, explain the importance of the restrictions and encourage compliance. However, if these tactics are unsuccessful then we will not hesitate to utilise enforcement powers at our disposal.

While restrictions remain in place, please keep obeying the rules. This will help bring the virus under greater control, protect our NHS and save lives.

Despite the ongoing work we undertake in relation to coronavirus, we also continue to carry out our normal duties.

One issue that has recently come to my attention is the vandalism and attacking of busses within the parts of the city, including the Appin Place area.

In addition to an increase in antisocial behaviour on busses, we have also seen increased reports of damage being caused to these vehicles. Busses are playing a vital role in keeping Edinburgh going at present, including allowing NHS and key workers get to and from work.

These reckless incidents won’t be tolerated and Operation Proust has been launched in response. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.

We anticipate that some of the current restrictions in place are due to be scaled back as we enter Spring and it is therefore likely that members of the public may be able to spend longer periods of time away from their homes. If this is the case, then I would urge everyone to ensure their properties are appropriately secured when left unoccupied.

As always, please remember that sheds, garages and other outbuildings are extensions of your homes and always make sure you have adequate security in place for these structures. We have a range of useful crime prevention available on our website at www.scotland.police.uk.

We are now approaching the publication date for our third quarter Management of Information data for 2020/21 and later this week these figures will be made public. The Q3 data will be published on the Police Scotland website and we’ll be sharing details on our social media channels in the coming days.

This information provides a useful snapshot of crime trends and police proactivity within our division, but it is important to recognise that, over the past 12 months, COVID and the subsequent lockdown restrictions will have had an impact on what we are seeing.

Nevertheless, our quarterly reports are an important tool in helping us dedicate resources accordingly, in order to address any issues arising in different parts of the city.

Supt Mark Rennie