Bag checks to be introduced at Edinburgh Festival shows

Searches are to be carried out at Fringe venues. PIcture; Stock image
Searches are to be carried out at Fringe venues. PIcture; Stock image
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A number of venues across the Edinburgh Festival will be carrying out bag checks for the first time in the 70-year history of the festival.

The change comes as part of a new public safety campaign following discussions between counterterrorism experts, the government and Edinburgh Council.

According to a report in The Times bag searches will be carried out at many venues in a further aim to protect public spaces on the Royal Mile, the Lawnmarket and parts of George Street.

READ MORE: Royal Mile bag searches ruled out for Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh Council have confirmed that some of the security measures, such as anti-terrorism barriers, could remain in place through Christmas and the New Year celebrations.

The move comes despite confirmation in June that such searches would not be carried out in unticketed areas of the city.

The Council’s chief convenor Donald Wilson said that safety of all visitors was ‘absolutely paramount’ and that the measures taken in the Capital were similar to those across a number of cities.

He told the Times: “There is no intelligence to suggest a threat but it is appropriate we put safety first and take precautionary measures to protect large crowds of people at key times during the year.”

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The Pleasance, which claims to be responsible for a quarter of all ticket sales at the Festival in the last year said it would be “heightening proactive security operations in line with national guidelines and strategies.”

According to Shona McCarthy chief executive of the festival’s Fringe society such measures are ‘common sense’

Bag searches are already carried out at the main entrance to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tatttoo at Edinburgh Castle esplanade.