Watch as police try to seize Edinburgh festival busker's kit in crackdown

FOOTAGE has emerged of police threatening to seize a musician’s kit as the Capital gets tough with festival buskers.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 12:50 pm
The officers are heard saying they issued a warning

Guitarist John Challis shared the video on social media of officers preparing to wheel away his amp on the Lawnmarket this week.

The Londoner said the constables retreated once fellow performers intervened but the experience has put him off returning to the city.

“We’ve got videos of the police contradicting themselves, refusing to provide information, and trying to take equipment from musicians all over the festival,” said John.

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The officers are heard saying they issued a warning

“They’ve made it impossible for us to do shows this entire month and most of us have travelled across the seas to entertain.

“The amp wasn’t seized in the end after other performers came over and argued my case alongside me.”

The Evening News reported yesterday how Liberal Democrats are calling for a crackdown on amplified entertainment in the city centre to prevent residents from being treated like “exhibits in a goldfish bowl”.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Every year, we work with organisers and the council to ensure that the Edinburgh Festival is a safe and enjoyable experience for residents and visitors alike.

John Challis has been put off returning to play the festival

"We continue to engage with buskers and performers, as well as residents and the council, throughout the festival regarding any ongoing issues or concerns which are raised."

Police officers will assess any complaint of noise and will speak with the performer or those playing music, added the spokeswoman.

Officers intervene under Section 54 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and can issue fines of up to £50.

The law states that an instrument or device can be seized by officers if causing an annoyance, should a person fail to desist on being asked to do so by officers.

A city council spokesman said: “The Council welcomes responsible busking, which provides a source of entertainment for many, but we encourage buskers to be considerate to those living and working nearby.

“Additional signs have recently been erected in the city centre providing buskers with advice on performing responsibly.”