Taking a tough stand against antisocial youth - Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor
Although the Meadows is not part of my policing command area, seeing the disgraceful scenes unfold over the Easter Weekend made it clear to me that a visible and robust police presence was required in our green spaces within the North West of the city to deter this type of behaviour being replicated.
Communities living near to our own popular beauty spots such as Crammond, South Queensferry, Inverleith Park and Lauriston Castle can be reassured that targeted patrols are being conducted in these areas to ensure that every opportunity is made to disrupt and prevent such behaviours from taking place. Officers will engage with the public, offer relevant advice if current COVID legislation is being breached and take appropriate enforcement action for any criminal offences we observe.
Please keep adhering to the existing Scottish government guidelines and help ensure the swiftest possible route out of lockdown.
You may all be aware that in the past few months we have received an increasing number of reports relating to criminality occurring on, and towards, Lothian Bus services across the city and a number of services have been temporarily suspended as a result. Sadly, the North West has been one of the main areas where such instances have been reported. Officers have responded to incidents in Clermiston, Drumbrae and Drylaw where buses have been struck by objects.
Operation Proust aims to address these issues through joint community patrols with Lothian Buses, providing reassurance to drivers and members of the public, as well as speaking to youths about the dangers and consequences associated with this type of reckless behaviour. We have now charged 30 young people in relation to these incidents. I would urge parents and guardians to speak to their children about the dangers associated with throwing objects at vehicles, as well as making sure they know where they are and what they are doing.
Sadly, this is not the only type of only antisocial behaviour we’ve experienced in the North West as of late.
Local residents in South Queensferry and Clermiston have been in touch to report a number of incidents of youth-related antisocial behaviour and as such we’ve carried out a range initiatives to identify those responsible, prevent further offences and divert youths away from getting involved in crime. We will share more about these initiatives and their progress via our social media channels.
Community safety remains an established priority and we continue to work with our partners including City of Edinburgh Council to combat antisocial behaviour in all its forms.
In addition to our commitment to tackling antisocial behaviour throughout the North West, we remain steadfast in our efforts to combat the harm caused by drugs within our local communities.
Over the past six weeks we have worked in partnership with relevant partners and other specialist resources across the Drylaw, Muirhouse and Pilton areas to target and disrupt those involved in drug supply.
Together, we have undertaken a range of enforcement and disruption activities that have resulted in various drug seizures being made, including the recovery of £25,000.00 of cannabis at one property.
The public continue to play a vital role in assisting investigations into drug crime and I would encourage anyone who has any concerns about drug-related activity, or has any information about those involved in drugs, to contact police on 101 or make an anonymous report to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
CI Sarah Taylor is Local Area Commander for North West Edinburgh