We’re stopping the people who want to spoil the party – Chief Superintendent Sean Scott
The Festival season brings its own set of challenges, but your police will rise to the occasion, says Chief Supt Sean Scott
Edinburgh in August – there’s no other place like it in the world. This past weekend being the first of the festival, I made a point of spending time in the city centre on Saturday afternoon to gauge the atmosphere and get a feel for our approach to ‘Summer City’ policing. The place was positively buzzing, as it always is at this time of year, and from past experience I know that sense of excitement will only increase over the next few weeks.
It won’t surprise anyone to know, however, that the volume of calls my officers and staff have to deal with rises in tandem with the burgeoning number of people and their party mood and this past weekend was no exception, with a 33 per cent increase in our average (non-festival) weekend demand. Despite this, as always, everyone approached this challenge with a smile and the level of enthusiasm, professionalism and discretion that policing in Edinburgh is well known for. We will work hard to ensure that reputation is not only maintained but enhanced over the coming weeks.
Of course, the national and international perception of Edinburgh as a safe place is important, in terms of the city itself and how we police it at this time of year, but I am acutely aware of ensuring we maintain the best possible ‘business as usual’ service to those good people who live and work in Edinburgh and who have to adapt to very different conditions when travelling, going about their business and socialising. I’m pleased to say that national resources from outwith Edinburgh Division have been made available to help us achieve that balance throughout August but I’d be keen to learn from you, the citizens of Edinburgh, what you think about our approach, both during this period and after the tumult subsides! Our public feedback/contact portal is on the Police Scotland website.
I want everyone to feel safe in everything they do in and around Edinburgh but there are always those who seek to spoil the party and although I’m delighted to say we have successfully targeted and arrested numerous criminals engaged in organised pick-pocketing, please be extra vigilant with your personal effects.
I’m also happy to report that common and serious assaults have declined this year to date. Are we complacent? Absolutely not – we will keep grafting to reduce serious violent crime but I can reassure you there is no discernible pattern or link across those who commit these crimes, other than the common causal factors behind why they do what they do, such as substance abuse and other vulnerabilities, and we will continue to work hard with partners to intervene and prevent.
Finally, I’m committed to do everything we can to reduce anti-social behaviour in all its forms and, to that end, the Police Scotland Safer Communities Prevention Taskforce is with us throughout August to address some of those issues at the Foot o’ the Walk in Leith. Those down there who seek to spoil things for others, be warned.
Be safe everyone and enjoy everything Edinburgh has to offer.
Chief Superintendent Sean Scott is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh.