The Queen’s love of Scotland touched all our lives - Neil Wilson

My name is Chief Inspector Neil Wilson and I was going to use my first column to introduce myself as the new Local Area Commander for North West Edinburgh, having spent the vast majority of my career working in various roles throughout the city.

Chief Inspector Neil Wilson
Chief Inspector Neil Wilson

However, I think it’s only right, given the significance of events that have taken place within the UK, that I reiterate the thoughts of our Chief Constable in offering my condolences to the Royal Family, following the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

As the Chief Constable said, throughout her long reign, Her Majesty’s dedication to Scotland has touched the lives of many Scottish police officers, members of police staff and their families.

Policing has played an important role in the past week in supporting the logistical operation that was led by the Royal Household, as Her Majesty made her way from Balmoral, to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, St Giles Cathedral and then onwards to London.

Many officers from North West Edinburgh have had extensive involvement in this operation and were supported by colleagues from across Police Scotland, including specialist and national divisions and departments. This once again demonstrates the benefits of being a single force in calling upon resources from throughout the country to support local policing.

What I do want to reassure the communities of the North West, however, is that we have continued to support daily business in the area during this challenging and demanding time for policing.

Recently, another phase of Operation Soteria enforcement action concluded in our region, with some really positive results. Operation Soteria is our ongoing campaign to tackle the theft of, and antisocial use of motorcycles within the city. Typically, communities in Drylaw, Muirhouse, Pilton and Craigentiny have been adversely affected by such offences, but issues have arisen throughout the city.

Since June 2022, Operation Soteria inquiries have led to the arrest of 35 people with significant links to motorcycle crime across Edinburgh and the execution of five intelligence-led warrants. This has resulted in 185 charges being brought against these individuals and the recovery of 131 bikes. This brings the total value of bikes recovered since June to more than £601,813.

With the Summer City policing operation now behind us, we will shortly begin our planning in earnest for Operation Winter City, which is our annual campaign to keep the public safe within the city centre during the festive period. However, before then, we must finish our planning and delivery of the policing operation for Bonfire Night.

Operation Crackle, Edinburgh's activity to deter fireworks-related offences will once again be supported by the national public order initiative, Operation Moonbeam, and within the Capital, we will have a contingent of public order officers who can be called upon to support local policing teams if required.

More details on Operation Crackle and Operation Moonbeam will be provided in due course, but in the meantime I would ask that parents and guardians have frank conversations with their families about the very serious risks associated with the reckless use of fireworks and the potential criminal consequences that could arise, should they found to be involved.

Chief Inspector Neil Wilson, Local Area Commander, North West Edinburgh