Working to ensure a safe summer at Portobello beach - Kieran Dougal

Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal is Local Area Commander, North East EdinburghChief Inspector Kieran Dougal is Local Area Commander, North East Edinburgh
Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal is Local Area Commander, North East Edinburgh
Despite the recent downturn in the weather summer is very much upon us and with the schools now also closed, your policing teams within the North East of Edinburgh are working hard to ensure the next few months are safe and enjoyable for all of those who live, work and visit the area.

For the past five weeks the North East Community Policing Team have been running the Lets Row campaign, a community project with kids from local high schools, Leith Academy and Castlebrae Community High School.

This included kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and rock climbing teaching them key life skills and teamwork. It is supported by a range of local partners including Bridge 8 hub, Paddle café, Places for People, Community Alcohol Partnership, Manor Estates Housing, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club.

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The campaign takes place at Portobello Beach and has also involved water safety training for the local community. Please stay safe around water this summer – further information on water safety can be found with the SFRS and RNLI websites.

Throughout the summer police and partners are working to ensure all ages are able to enjoy the delights of such areas as Portobello beach safely and responsibly. Over the last few weeks we have been working on education, engagement and planning for our Summer At Portobello Campaign which has launched and I have been on patrol in the Portobello area and my officers will continue through the Summer Holidays engaging with local businesses and community alongside running multiagency event days.

We want everyone to be able to enjoy the summer and not have their experience ruined by an inconsiderate few, so please know that antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated.

Road safety remains an area of focus with Police Scotland's Summer Drink/ Drug Drive campaign having started recently. Within the North East, we have been utilising our local policing teams, Special Constables, Road Policing Officers and a variety of partners from various agencies to conduct road checks in the region.

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This has resulted in over 40 motoring offences being detected and in excess of 120 vehicle stops ensuring relevant enforcement by way of tickets or charges and education. Please remember if you go out drinking this summer, plan ahead and do not risk getting behind the wheel if there’s even the smallest chance there is still alcohol in your system. You may still be over the drink drive limit the following day, so don’t risk it.

Finally, I want to praise the work of the Special Constables we have in the North East, who play a vital role in supporting their full-time colleagues each day.

The North East Support Team (NEST) are a group of Special Constables working as part of community policing in our area. They undertake proactive initiatives covering issues such as, road safety, anti-social behaviour and warrants enquiries. They support policing operations through proactivity and crime prevention, conducting initiatives to support divisional priorities.

In addition, they often play an important supporting role in major events and campaigns that take place in the city, like Emergency Services Day in Leith back in March and the upcoming policing operation for the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe.

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If you’re considering joining Police Scotland, either as a Special Constable, or full-time officer, more information can be found on our website at

Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal, Local Area Commander, North East Edinburgh

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