From housebreakings to lost children, our policing remains effective, writes Chief Inspector Mark Rennie

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I am the Local Area Commander for East Edinburgh and it’s my responsibility to deliver the best possible policing service to the local community who reside and work within Craigentinny, Duddingston, Portobello and Craigmillar wards.

This summer has been a challenge for us locally, as officers in the east have not only assisted in policing the Commonwealth Games but also been kept busy during the lovely weather, ensuring that our local policing response remains effective.

My main priority, after ensuring that we respond appropriately to all crimes and incidents reported daily, is also to make sure officers prioritise the issues that local people tell us concern them the most.

These are included in our local ward plans and cover antisocial behaviour, drug dealing, housebreaking and violent crime.

On a positive note, faced with an increase in housebreaking last year, we created a specialist team who ensure that detailed investigation is carried out for what is an invasive and frightening crime to experience. This has resulted in a significant 65 per cent reduction in housebreaking so far this year, which equates to 
53 less houses being broken into, and just as important, numerous repeat offenders facing court.

Local drug dealers are also high on our list of priorities. Following some excellent information and calls from the public, we have recovered several thousands pounds worth of drugs from the Craigmillar area recently and ensured that the dealers are placed behind bars where they are no longer able to harm our communities.

To tackle antisocial behaviour, officers have also been carrying out daily patrols of the beach at Portobello. Unfortunately for them they don’t get to enjoy an ice cream, but their patrols, whether on foot or on their bikes, are essential to protect the thousands of people who descend on the beach on the warm weather days. Children especially have to be watched closely near the sea and within the crowds, and officers have been on hand to ensure that missing children are found quickly and re-united with their worried parents.

All in all it’s been a busy summer and my officers have been working incredibly hard to continue our commitment to keeping people safe. That work though is not just carried out by the police. It’s everyone’s job to make East Edinburgh the safest place it can be and my thanks go out to those in the local community, our partners and 999 responders who work with us to ensure that this particular area of Edinburgh is a very safe place to live.

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CI Mark Rennie is Local Area Commander for East Edinburgh.