Opening up to the public is vital

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'New Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald
Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'New Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald
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This past month been a very busy and exciting period for many of the response, community and specialist officers in Edinburgh, as we welcomed 5000 members of our communities through our doors.

On 10 September, Fettes Police Station hosted our Police and Partners Open Day; giving the public the opportunity to engage with a range of police officers serving in numerous roles, as well as over 30 different partners.

In a time where community policing has undergone various changes it’s difficult to understate the value of this engagement – whether it’s watching our police dog displays, or young children trying on police uniforms or learning more about our recruitment process. The Open Day was an opportunity for members of the public of all ages to gain insight into what’s involved in policing Scotland’s capital. The day gave me the opportunity to personally speak to numerous members of the community and hear what is important to them. This feedback is imperative to my role as Area Commander and shapes my priorities for operational policing.

On the subject of community matters, I’d like to address recent media report on crime hotspots throughout the country. Unfortunately, Edinburgh featured with the highest rate for crimes of dishonesty, which includes housebreakings and thefts of and from vehicles, as well as shoplifting and fraud.

Housebreaking is not a new problem for Edinburgh. Although rates dropped last year we have seen an increase in 2017 and we continue to dedicate appropriate resources and work closely with partners to address this issue.

As part of this ongoing commitment, we launched the second phase of Operation Myriad in the North of Edinburgh. The first phase was launched in June this year and was our response to a rise in anti-social behaviour, violence and crimes of dishonesty. Phase one resulted in more than 70 arrests, the recovery of more than £9000 worth of drugs and the seizure of 28 vehicles.

The second phase will continue this excellent work with a two week intensive operation commencing on 9 October in North Edinburgh. During this time I have requested additional assistance from various divisions and specialist departments throughout Scotland.

It’s hard to believe we are now in October and the autumn school holidays are fast approaching, along with Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night. Typically this results in a rise in youth-related antisocial behaviour. I would ask parents to remind their children to behave responsibly and not put themselves or others at risk with their actions. If we all play our part, then these celebrations can be safe and enjoyable experiences for everyone.

Chief Superintendent Kenny Macdonald, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh.