Police will be ready for whatever Brexit brings – Ch Supt Gareth Blair

Ch Supt Gareth Blair says the police are prepared for Brexit
Ch Supt Gareth Blair says the police are prepared for Brexit
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Well, everyone else seems to be talking about it, so for my column this month, I’m going to discuss Brexit.

Don’t worry, however, this is not an opinion piece, but rather, an update to our communities as to all of the work that is ongoing to prepare for March 29.

You may have previously read comments from former Edinburgh Divisional Commander, ACC Mark Williams, where he outlined that 360 officers will be on stand-by to deal with any incidents specifically relating to the impact of the UK leaving the European Union.

This is purely a contingency and it is important to stress that there’s no specific information relating to any issues due to arise because of Brexit.

I also want to make it clear that our reserve of officers will not be inactive, should there not be any Brexit-related issues, and will be utilised to deal with local policing matters across the city.

As the Capital city, it won’t surprise any of you to learn that many of those 360 officers will be on stand by within Edinburgh. While I do not want to give specific numbers, our communities can rest assured that we will have suitable resources in place to deal with the challenges that this very divisive topic brings.

We are already aware of a number of protests and demonstrations due to take place in various areas throughout the city in March. Each of these events will be policed proportionately to maintain the safety of all those in attendance, and the general public, while at the same time, miminimising disruption to the rest of the city.

Whatever your personal opinion is in relation to Brexit, please be mindful that criminal activity aimed at those with an opposing point of view will not be tolerated.

Incidents such as threatening or abusive behaviour, vandalism and other disorder offences will be investigated with the utmost seriousness and anyone found to be involved can expect to be robustly dealt with.

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh