Tackling rural, street and anti-social crime - Mark Hamilton
With the increase in visitors to the Pentlands, the Pentland Hills Partnership Against rural Crime (PARC) was launched during summer. This local partnership brings together Park Ranger Service, Fire Service, Police, Scottish Water and other local partners who live and work in the Pentlands focusing on rural crime, behaving responsibly in the countryside and water safety.
In response to community concerns around drug dealing in the Dalry and Fountainbridge areas we launched an operation to target the dealers and support the victims of their criminality. This involved high visibility and plain clothes patrols along with support from specialists and was highly successful, resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals, the recovery of dealer quantities of harmful drugs and 5 offensive weapons. Reducing drug harm and targeting drug supply is a priority for Edinburgh and this operation will continue in the coming months.
We listen to the needs of the community and antisocial behaviour in Sighthill Park remains a priority as part of ‘Operation Pillar’. Sergeant Keith Watson from the Community Policing Team leads on this and is working closely with partners in the Fire Service, Council, local businesses, schools and youth groups. This has involved enhanced patrols in the park along with outreach work from Fire Service and youth agencies. I’m pleased to say that this joint approach has led to a reduction in reported incidents but our focus on this issue will continue and it will remain a priority.
This is traditionally a busy time for the emergency services and Bonfire night is almost upon us. Like in recent years Operation Crackle will be in place to keep the public and emergency services safe and will be supported by our National Public Order response.
Planning has been underway for a number of months and in the lead up to Bonfire night, Police and our partners will be patrolling local communities, identifying any issues and taking action.
There will be a zero tolerance approach to violence and threatening behaviour and any attacks against emergency services will be dealt with swiftly. There is new legislation in place this year which makes using fireworks to attack the emergency services an aggravation of the offence and could result in more severe penalties in court.
Fireworks should never be used as a weapon and can cause serious injuries.
I would encourage people to attend organised displays this year as we have seen people injured at unauthorised displays in the past. Please ask where your children are going in the evenings and please also be aware that buying fireworks and supplying them to anyone under 18 ‘proxy purchasing’ is also now an offence.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Bonfire period and please also follow us on Twitter @EdinPolSW where you can keep up to date with what the policing team are doing in your local area.
Chief Inspector Mark Hamilton, Local Area Commander, South West Edinburgh