‘Simple steps achieve much and cost little’

Have your say

among all the operations staged by Lothian and Borders Police over the last year, few will be as warmly welcomed in as many homes as Dragnet and Drum.

The names might sound like they are straight from the pages of an Inspector Rebus novel but the reality is far more mundane.

These are two of a series of successful initiatives tackling problems caused by youths hanging around on street corners.

Most of the “crime” involved is at the lowest end of the scale – noise complaints, minor vandalism and so on.

But they are the sorts of problems that can be debilitating for communities forced to live with them.

The results, including drops in “nuisance” calls of up to 80 per cent, are impressive.

And everybody wins, from the residents who get more peace to the wayward teenagers who are now more likely to stay on the straight and narrow.

This shows just what can be achieved by police and council officers working closely together at a local level. And simple steps like changing shifts to ensure more beat bobbies are around at problem times for their local community do not cost the earth.

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery’s promise of more community-focused policing like this is no doubt exactly what most residents will want to hear.

Size matters

the doubts about the wisdom of building a huge new biomass plant on Leith Docks just keep on growing.

This time it is the influential Committee on Climate Change, advisors to the UK Government, who are casting doubt on the economic and environmental arguments for such a development.

But it is too early to be sounding the death knell for this project just yet.

This newspaper shares many of the concerns about the plans, not least of which are claims about the possible impact on the health of people living nearby.

Yet, in recognising the many questions this important report raises, we cannot ignore its other conclusions.

The climate change committee’s advice can be crudely summed up as, “biomass is great, but don’t build big new stations, convert old ones and build small new ones”.

Forth Energy is already reviewing its plans, If it comes back with proposals for a smaller plant, this could end up being a vote of confidence in the project.