It’s your right to protest – but keep it safe
When planning my column for April, I was unsure if the UK would still be part of the European Union, or whether Brexit would have gone ahead.
Now that we know the Brexit deadline has been extended, we can anticipate a number of demonstrations taking place within the Capital until Britain and Northern Ireland’s future within the EU has been decided.
As a police force, we are entirely impartial in all matters of a political nature and our role is to facilitate peaceful and lawful protest, wherever and whenever it arises, as well as ensuring that disruption to the general public is kept to a minimum.
Whenever such demonstrations take place we will have appropriate policing resources in place and criminal activity of any sort will be appropriately acted upon. It is your democratic right to protest, but please ensure your behaviour and your actions do not put yourselves or others at risk.
Please also be aware that in order to hold a demonstration or event within Edinburgh, permission must be obtained from the City of Edinburgh Council. We can thereafter work closely with the council and organisers to keep attendees safe.
Looking ahead, Easter is now just a few short days away and if you’re lucky enough, you might just have a long weekend off work.
As always, we will dedicate suitable resources to the city centre during this time and I ask that anyone planning to go out and enjoy themselves over the public holidays, does so responsibly.
Remember, over-consumption of alcohol is often linked to a variety of incidents which occur in and around our night-time economy and should you be involved in an offence that is directly linked to alcohol, our Think Twice bail conditions could see you barred from licensed premises within the city centre until your case is heard at court.
On behalf of all of my officers and staff in Edinburgh Division, I’d like to wish our communities a Happy Easter and want to reassure the public that we’ll be working hard over the coming days to deter crime and keep everyone safe.
Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh.