Hogmanay revellers' conduct praised at '˜best street party ever'

POLICE have praised the conduct of revellers at last night's Hogmanay Street Party which passed with no major incidents and just four arrests.

Monday, 1st January 2018, 10:35 am
Updated Monday, 1st January 2018, 10:35 am
The conduct of revellers at Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party has been praised. Picture: Copyright Chris Watt

A bumper crowd of 75,000 revellers packed the centre of Edinburgh last night to join in the annual street party celebrations.

Hogmanay headliner Rag’n’Bone Man led a stirring, mass rendition of Auld Lang Syne following the stunning midnight fireworks extravaganza.

In keeping with previous years, which have generally witnessed a low number of offences, police have confirmed that just four arrests were made on the night, all for minor disorders.

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“Edinburgh has once again shown why it’s one of the greatest cities in the world, welcoming in the New Year in tremendous fashion,” said Chief Superintendent Kenny Macdonald.

“I would like to thank all of my officers and staff and the stewards for their outstanding work in helping us deliver another fantastic event.

“Extensive planning and discussions between ourselves, City of Edinburgh Council and Underbelly took place over several months, allowing us to deploy appropriate resources within the Street Party arena and ensure we kept the public safe.

“In addition to uniformed officers, specialist resources, including armed officers were present on the evening. This was purely as a precaution, but I think it provided the public with a sense of reassurance while they enjoyed the festivities.

“It is very pleasing to note that the Street Party passed with no major incidents and only 4 arrests were made for minor disorder offences.

“A comprehensive analysis of our arrest figures will be compiled as the day continues.”

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Underbelly, organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “The day started with a storm and ended with a bang – without a doubt this was the best party ever.”

One firm helping to keep party-goers safe was Lothian Buses, whose free Hogmanay NightBus Services ran throughout the Capital.

But while thousands of revellers got home safe and police figures were low, it wasn’t all good news for the emergency services.

Between midnight and 7am the Scottish Ambulance Service said there had been a 45% increase in the number of calls nationwide compared to the same time last year.

“The festive period has been a challenge for the Service,” said Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, “due to a significant increase in demand and pressures on the system. Yet again, our staff in our Control Centres, on the frontline, support staff and volunteers have risen to this challenge and showed what an incredible group of dedicated people they are.

“Working in often challenging and relentless circumstances, they did a fantastic job of managing and responding to this big increase in demand and showed that across the country, we continue to strive to deliver the highest level of care to our patients.”