Stevie Dolan: Making west of city much safer

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As Local Area Commander for West Edinburgh my focus over recent months has been ensuring that everything possible is being done to address the number of housebreakings that have been happening across the area that we police.

Having led several public meetings I know how much of an adverse effect these crimes have on our community so it is heartening that our efforts as part of Operation RAC have resulted in numerous offenders being traced and large quantities of stolen property being returned to the rightful owners.

The additional national police resources, which have been assisting local officers in the area, have had an immensely positive impact on both the issue of housebreaking, as well as other offences, such as antisocial behaviour, including damage to buses in the Wester Hailes area. In response to these incidents, local youths have since been charged and I am glad to report a reduction in youth-related disorder.

Our work with council colleagues also continues to improve the quality of life for all residents within the west of the city. Together we target a number of issues and individuals having the biggest impact on the local community.

As well as our continued focus on preventing crime, my staff and I are also currently involved in the planning for some significant events, such as the Royal Highland Show (June 18-21) and the Foo Fighters concert at Murrayfield on June 23.

Whilst we are working with the organisers and various partners to plan for safe events, and to minimise the disruption resulting from them, I would encourage those who may be travelling in the area on these dates to bear them in mind and check relevant websites (such as Travel Scotland) for transport information.

On the theme of prevention, and to support our force priority of “keeping people safe”, we will be delivering our Playsafe initiative with colleagues from various agencies at Mary Erskine’s School this week.

Around 1100 P1 children from 21 schools in the west of the city will attend and will have a lot of fun while learning (as well as making lots of noise!). Our aim is to give children all the relevant knowledge to keep themselves safe whilst out and about and Playsafe has proven very successful in helping us achieve this goal over the past several years.