Supt Lesley Clark: Festival policing proves a success

Pc Amanda the Panda, the Operation Summer City mascot
Pc Amanda the Panda, the Operation Summer City mascot
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We have now reached the end of the Edinburgh Festival and the end of our policing campaign – Operation Summer City.

I would like to thank the overwhelming majority of the local residents, visitors and Festival performers whose exemplary behaviour and support of our policing efforts has made this year’s Summer City a success.

As always, our main priority was to keep the public safe and over the past few weeks we have been utilising our designated social media channels to provide a range of really useful advice and guidance on how people can safeguard their belongings, travel safely through the city and enjoy our wonderful nightlife without letting alcohol ruin a good evening.

All of this information has been delivered using our official Summer City Mascot, Pc Amanda the Panda, who has proven a real hit with the public, young and old. But you didn’t have to be a social media guru to obtain our crime prevention and safety advice, and so those who preferred a face-to-face chat with one of our very friendly officers dropped into our “Unofficial Fringe Venue 999”, based in the East End of Princes Street Gardens.

Festival-goers may also have noticed some new measures in place at some city centre locations, where barriers or other equipment had been set up to prevent vehicles from entering areas that are densely crowded. I would like to reassure everyone that this has been purely a preventative measure and there has been no specific intelligence suggesting a similar attack to those, which have occurred across mainland Europe in recent weeks and months.

Edinburgh Division continues to work closely with national colleagues and a variety of partners to ensure we have appropriate resources in place to prevent, and if need be, respond to any threat that may arise.

A range of specialist officers and departments have been deployed throughout Operation Summer City and we will continue to utilise all assets at our disposal to maintain public safety and confidence in our ability to police major events.

The fireworks celebration tonight marks the end of the 2017 Edinburgh Festival, so I hope you’ve been able to savour all the wonderful events and experiences our city has to offer.

Even with the Festival drawing to a close, Edinburgh continues to offer locals and visitors alike an array of varied and wonderful activities and things to do, so wherever you go in the city, please take all the appropriate steps you can to keep safe. We will certainly be doing all we can to keep you all safe.

Lesley Clark is Superintendent of Specialist Operations for Edinburgh