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Police Newsletter Beat SM46 Marchmont

A Division

Community and Neighbourhood Watch News

ISSUE 45 May 2008

'Work With Us'

City Wide

Divisional Commanders Message

I am delighted and honoured to take on the role of Divisional Commander for ‘A’ Division and I am excited by the challenges that policing the Capital City of Edinburgh will bring.

I am fortunate that Chief Superintendent George Simpson leaves ‘A’ Division in an excellent position. Through his drive and determination and the ongoing commitment and hard work of all staff throughout the division, we have an enviable solvency rate and there has been a significant decrease in the number of crimes committed across the city in the past year.

Edinburgh is a very busy, metropolitan and diverse capital city that ensures that there is a constant and increasing demand for policing. This is a challenge for us all and I look forward to working with you and our partners to build upon our success and make the City of Edinburgh even safer for our residents and visitors.

Chief Superintendent Colin Campbell, Divisional Commander.

Hot Topics

Scrap Thieves

There is an emerging problem with thefts of metals across the City of Edinburgh. Due to the increased demand for base metals throughout the world, scrap value of steel, lead, aluminium and copper has greatly increased recently making the theft and sale of these items a viable black market business opportunity. As the scrap value of metals continues to rise it is likely they will become an even more attractive commodity for criminals, and the numbers of thefts of this kind will rise.

Noticeable of late have been the theft of road signs, railings, scaffolding and many other every day items that we take for granted that can be found in your street.

A disturbing trend is the theft of manhole covers, a large number of which were stolen recently from the Portobello area. The theft of these items presents a danger for children, pedestrians and other road users. As well as the potential damage and injury that could be caused as a result of these thefts, manhole covers cost in the region of £100 each to replace and costs could rise to £1000 depending on the damage caused to the site during the commission of the theft.

Organised groups of criminals who specialise in the theft of drain covers using specialist equipment are believed to be operating throughout the UK. We would urge all members of the public to report any suspicious activity they see to the police on 0131 311 3131 or by dialling 999 in any case where urgent Police assistance is required. If you have any information regarding a crime or criminal activity, you can give this anonymously by phoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Local News

Beat SM46

This is the May edition of your monthly newsletter, reviewing the results of crime trends during April in respect of your ward.

During April 52 crimes were reported in your ward, representing a decrease from the previous 3 months (compared with 45 reported in January, 75 in February and 75 in March).

During April there were no domestic housebreakings in the area, which must be a ‘first’ since I began my duties as community beat officer!

This represents a significant decrease when compared with previous months (for example, 9 domestic housebreakings were committed in the area during March).

However, one shop was broken into on Warrender Park Road. This has been solved, and two young males have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

There was a decrease in motor vehicle theft in our area during April. One motorcycle was stolen from Lauriston Gardens, and two convertible cars had their ‘soft-tops’ cut in an attempt to gain access to the vehicles to steal them one evening in Spottiswoode Street and Spottiswoode Road. Unfortunately, we have not been able to solve these 3 crimes yet. It is often the case that crimes such as auto theft take several weeks to solve or gain an admission from the culprit. However I note that this figure compares favourably to March, when 7 thefts of motor vehicles were reported to Police.

During April 3 vehicles were broken into, for the purposes of stealing the contents, at the following locations:

Lauriston Gardens (2), Warrender Park Terrace.

In one case the vehicle had been left unlocked by the owner. The thefts are as yet unsolved and do not appear to be connected. Sports equipment and a laptop were stolen from these vehicles. This represents a slight increase from March when just one vehicle was broken into.

Vandalism to vehicles remains at a consistent low, with 4 vehicles being reported as vandalised during April in our area. In 3 cases these vandalisms are related - 3 cars had their wing mirrors kicked off on the evening of the 8th of April on Marchmont Road. Unfortunately these crimes remain unsolved, having occurred at night-time, and door-to-door enquiries have so far failed to produce any witnesses.

6 pedal cycles were stolen during April in our area (compare with 5 thefts reported in March). The pedal cycles were stolen from the following locations:

Drumdryan Street, Marchmont Road, Spottiswoode Street (4).

Two of these thefts have been solved, and 2 males have consequently been charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

I have 2 related incidents to bring to your attention which occurred on the Meadows on the 26th of April, and which are the subject of a CID enquiry. About 2am on the 26th of April there were two assaults committed by a youth armed with a plank. This youth was part of a group who were aged between about 15-18, and after the second assault the youth stole items from the victim.

We are working very hard during the summer months to deter any further such attacks and other youth disorder in the area. Please see my final section for information about Operation Aura in the Meadows.

No drug-related offences were reported in the area during April. As specified in my previous newsletter, we are not complacent about the low drugs statistics in your ward and are keen to hear from you if you have any information to offer us about local drug-use or drug-dealing.

Either contact me directly using the contact details provided on the back page of this newsletter, or if you wish to remain entirely anonymous, you can phone the ‘Crimestoppers’ number on 0800 555 111 to report your suspicions. As well as our local uniformed officers, we have a Divisional Drugs Unit within Lothian & Borders Police who monitor and act on drugs intelligence received.

The frequency of vandalisms remained relatively low during April, with 5 smashed windows being reported to Police in our area. These happened on various dates at the following locations and are not necessarily related:

Chalmers Street, Drumdryan Street, James Gillespies High School (2), Strathearn Road.

Enquiries into these are continuing.

Our local officers succeeded in catching two drink drivers in your ward during April, in Melville Drive and Home Street. Both drivers have been charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Useful Numbers

  And Finally...

Community Beat Officer for Marchmont
PC 5801A Lindsey Thomson


Inspector Richard Horan

Force Communications Centre
(For reporting non-emergency crimes or other disorder)
Tel: 0131 311 3131

St Leonards Police Station
Tel: 0131 662 5000

Community Safety Department
Tel: 0131 221 2050 / 2100

Youth Action Team
Carolyn McGhee
Tel: 0131 529 5151
  During May, June and July, Operation Aura will be running in and around the Meadows. This is designed to counter youth disorder and underage drinking, which our statistics show generally increases in our area during the summer months.

Operation Aura consists of dedicated highvisibility Police patrols in the Meadows, Bruntsfield Links, and Newington, undertaken both on foot and in Police vehicles. This will take place every Friday and Saturday until 2am.

During the festival period in August, we will be stepping up our patrols in and around the Meadows even more, and using mounted Police and mobile CCTV in an attempt to deter youth disorder and underage drinking.

These measures will be supplemented by visits to local off-licences by Police, to reinforce the message that it is illegal to sell alcohol to under-18s. We are also currently running a ‘test-purchasing’ scheme, in which youths are working with the Police to try and identify which shops are selling alcohol to under-18s.

We hope that these measures will be effective in making our area a safer place for youths and the public during the summer evenings.

PC 5801A Lindsey Thomson
Community Beat Officer
Marchmont & the Meadows