Summer fun continues with festival frenzy - Chief Inspector David Happs

CI David HappsCI David Happs
CI David Happs
It has already been a busy start to the summer and we’re only a few weeks in. Nevertheless, Edinburgh Division is rising to the challenges and demands.

The Capital has played host to some major music events recently, with Harry Styles, Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen performing to tens of thousands of people at Murrayfield Stadium, while Rod Stewart and others held a series of concerts at Edinburgh Castle and The Proclaimers performed at Leith Links.

We have a wealth of experience in policing such events and worked with the event organisers, promoters and partner agencies to ensure their safe and successful delivery whilst also seeking to minimise any disruption and impact to the community.

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We now look ahead to upcoming dance music events and The Killers concert scheduled at the Royal Highland Showground as well as the series of Taylor Swift concerts planned for 2024.

In addition to the concerts taking place within Edinburgh, the city also played host to His Majesty, King Charles III for Holyrood Week 2023. The King and other members of the Royal Household attended various engagements within the Capital and beyond during His Majesty’s first Holyrood Week since becoming King following the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II last year.

We recognised the importance of the National Service of Thanksgiving event held at St Giles - our priority was public safety and a number of actions were taken to ensure this, including an open approach to engaging with protest groups.​​​ Officers on the ground facilitated peaceful protest and carried out their duties with dignity, professionalism and fairness, upholding our internationally recognised human rights’ approach to policing.​​

Thousands of people are soon expected to visit the city for the upcoming Edinburgh International and Fringe Festivals. Next month we will be launching Operation Summer City 2023, our annual policing campaign to keep the public safe over this Festival period. This will see an enhanced policing presence in the city centre and our officers engaging with event staff and the public to offer a range of crime prevention and public safety advice. Stay tuned for more details on Operation Summer City in the coming weeks.

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The new football season is almost upon us and as well as today’s friendly at Murrayfield between Manchester United vs Olympique Lyonnais, both Edinburgh clubs will be playing in European qualifiers in addition to their domestic schedule. We work closely with both clubs and deploy policing resources as appropriate to ensure the safety of those in attendance.

I would remind all fans attending upcoming matches of the new Firework and Pyrotechnic legislation which is now in force and provides further measures to deter and prevent their use. No one should be put at risk of harm from the misuse of pyrotechnic articles and it is an offence to possess a pyrotechnic article in a public place or within a designated event. I welcome the stance the football clubs, as well as many fans and fan groups have taken to preventing pyrotechnic misuse, speaking out against it and working together on reducing their risk to public safety.

Of course football is not the only sport taking place within the city, Scotland’s rugby team return to Murrayfield to play a number of home matches in advance of the Rugby World Cup. We will of course be in attendance at these events to support the event organiser and stewarding in their safe delivery.

On behalf of Edinburgh Division, I wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer and rest assured we are working hard to keep you all safe throughout.

Chief Inspector David Happs

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