It’s hard to believe that we’re almost in November and in just over two weeks, our annual festive policing campaign, Operation Winter City, will be launched for 2018 to keep the public safe over Christmas and New Year.
Before then, however, we have a very busy few nights ahead of us with the Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night celebrations commencing tonight and continuing on until 6 November.
Edinburgh is world-renowned for its unique events and activities, which take place during this time, and the city can be a very vibrant and exciting place to be if you wish to party or attend organised fireworks displays. We have been working closely with a range of partner agencies over the past 12 months to ensure our communities remain safe throughout Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night and we will have a range of local, national and specialist resources at our disposal over the coming days.
Evening News readers will have seen over the past few weeks, the lengths we are going to with our partners in order to reduce and prevent antisocial behaviour as much as possible. As well as our increased local resource, we can call upon specialist officers and departments for assistance if required and will be able to utilise tactics such as our off-road motorcycles and DNA tagging spray, should we deem it necessary. It is my sincere hope that the public will support us with our endeavours.
I want to reiterate again, that while we are confident we have all the necessary resources in place to robustly deter criminal activity and respond to arising incidents, this is not a challenge to those looking to cause trouble. People do not want to see the police at loggerheads with local youths and others involved in criminality and this is not the approach we wish to take either.
The Edinburgh public are used to a friendly and engaging policing style and that is what my officers will deliver. However,we will, of course, take a firm stance when responding to reported offences.
Edinburgh is one of the best cities in the world and everyone who lives here should take pride in that. I would therefore urge parents and guardians to have frank conversations with young people in their care about the risks and consequences of getting involved in disorder during Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night. We all have a responsibility to keep them safe.
Likewise, if anyone has any information relating to individuals they believe are planning to commit offences over the coming days, then please contact us immediately.
To those of you who are planning on attending a Hallowe’en or Bonfire Night celebration, have a fantastic but safe time and work with us to ensure it’s memorable for all the right reasons.
Chief Supt Gareth Blair is Divisional Commander for Edinburgh.