T/Chief Supt Richard Thomas: I’m ready for the challenge ahead

Interim Divisional Commander for Edinburgh, Chief Superintendent Richard Thomas. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Interim Divisional Commander for Edinburgh, Chief Superintendent Richard Thomas. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Edinburgh Evening News readers have likely become very accustomed to the regular columns of Kenny MacDonald, who for the past two years has been an outstanding Divisional Commander for the city. However, with the New Year comes a new temporary commander and I am delighted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to Edinburgh’s communities.

My name is Richard Thomas and for the past 21 years I have worked within the Capital in a number of roles such as response and community policing, as well as CID.

This varied experience has allowed me to work closely with the public, elected members and other vital partners during a range of investigations, operations and campaigns, and ultimately gain a detailed understanding of how Edinburgh should be policed and the priorities our communities wish us to address.

I want to assure all of those who live, work and visit the city that for the duration of my time in charge, they will not see any significant change to the outstanding work carried out under my predecessor and our policing style will remain the same.

Throughout 2018, local officers in Edinburgh will be working hard to tackle the area-specific priorities identified by communities as a result of our in-depth engagement surveys and continued dialogue with the public.

Issues such as housebreaking and other forms of acquisitive crime remain the division’s top priority and we will not be complacent in dealing with these offences, which we recognise have a significant impact on victims.

In addition to our continued promotion of crime prevention and security advice, which can be found on the Police Scotland website, officers from the Search and Recovery Team liaise with second-hand retailers on a daily basis to identify stolen property and return it to its rightful owners. Intelligence gathered from staff at these premises also plays a key role in identifying acquisitive crime offenders and bringing them to justice.

Over the coming year, we look to build on the successes of this partnership work, which has been so evident in the previous years.

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most vibrant and exciting cities to visit, particularly during the summer months when the Edinburgh International Festival is underway, and during the festive period when we see increased footfall in the city centre to enjoy the winter attractions and the world-renowned Hogmanay street party.

However, on an almost weekly, if not daily basis, other large-scale events, celebrations or sporting matches take place and we will continue to police these with the same level of commitment and dedication as before with the safety of the public always being our primary consideration. I look forward to working with all relevant partners and event organisers during the planning process for these events, as we demonstrate to the world why Edinburgh is such a universally attractive city.

As I sign off on my first column, I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank Kenny MacDonald for his contribution to making Edinburgh one of the safest cities in Europe and I’ll look to emulate this success over the next few months.

I would also like to thank all of my officers for their exemplary work and to the members of my Command Team for helping me get ready for the challenges we will face together.

Finally, I want to thank the Edinburgh public for their continued support of policing within the Capital and I look forward to building even closer ties with our communities during my tenure as the city’s commander.

T/Chief Supt Richard Thomas, Interim Divisional Commander for Edinburgh.