Safety first this summer as lockdown eases -Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor
Summer has arrived and coupled with excellent weather and a further easing of restrictions, many of us will be looking ahead over the next few weeks with greater optimism.
We all want to enjoy a safe summer. However, we know from experience that a combination of good weather and lockdown easing can result in large numbers of people heading to some of the city’s most scenic places and beaches, and on occasions incidents of anti-social behaviour, disorder and violence have occurred.
I would urge everyone to behave responsibly, be respectful of their surroundings and not act in a way that puts themselves or others at risk.
Portobello Beach is a very popular destination for the residents of Edinburgh, East Lothian and beyond. We have been working closely with colleagues in HM Coastguard, RNLI and the City of Edinburgh Council to ensure the safety of all of those who attend intent on enjoying the beach and the local amenities.
Unfortunately there is a minority who are intent on engaging in violence, vandalism and general Anti-social behaviour, thereby spoiling the experience for visitors, local businesses and residents. This behaviour will not be tolerated and we will continue to carry out focused patrols throughout our all open spaces to disrupt those intent on causing trouble.
My messaging around safety is equally relevant to our enjoyment of open water and there have been several incidents in the last few weeks where people have gotten into difficulty whether swimming or using inflatable boats. Please remain cautious around rivers, reservoirs and the sea and never underestimate the current, temperature of depth of the water and never go out into the water alone.
Focussing on my own area, the North West of the city, we have started to see a rise in thefts from homes, businesses, vehicles and sheds so please take every preventative step that you can to ensure that your home or business is secure. This includes making sure all doors and windows are locked and valuables such as jewellery, purses and car keys are stored out of sight.
Officers from our Prevention, Intervention and Partnerships Department delivered vehicle crime prevention advice as part of the #LockYourDoors #DontGiveThievesAnEasyRide campaign however if you missed any of the activities, you can access information regarding wider crime prevention on Police Scotland’s website www.scotland.police.uk.
My final message on safety, relates to the use of motor bikes, scramblers and e-scooters. Anti-social behaviour through the use of such vehicles is an ongoing issue that has faced the North West, particularly during the summer months and I wanted to emphasise the rules in an effort to prevent any serious injury from occurring.
It is illegal to ride any of these vehicles on a cycle path or footpath. If you are going to ride them on a public road or in a public space, you are required to wear an approved safety helmet and have the necessary insurance and licence. My community teams are actively patrolling known locations in the North West and are utilising a variety of tactics to prevent and deter their illegal use. So far this summer we have successfully identified 6 offenders, charging them in excess of 20 offences.
I want to thank you for your continued support and please continue to report suspected criminality and relevant concerns either through local officers, 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor is Local Area Commander, North West Edinburgh