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Police News - Beat SM46 Meadows & Morningside / Southside & Newington

A Division News December 2011

'with you for you'

  Divisional Commanders Message

With the advent of the Festive period we find ourselves facing the annual challenges represented by Christmas and New Year, and my teams remain dedicated to ensuring residents and visitors to Edinburgh stay safe and secure while enjoying the attractions and entertainment on offer.In the city centre, Operation Astrodome has started. This initiative pitches officers alongside partner agencies in a preventative approach.
High visibility foot, bicycle and plain clothed patrols will ensure that staff are on hand to deal with any issue as, or hopefully before, it arises.
Crime figures for the last month (compared to this time last year) show an overall reduction in recorded crime by 5%. Significantly, there has been a 15% drop in housebreakings. The detective work of our Housebreaking Investigation Units (to report offenders) and the preventive work of the Integrated Offender Management officers (to positively influence offenders) are combining well.
During the last month we have seen substantial media coverage in regards to Operations Opulent. ‘Opulent’ targeted the ill-gotten gains of local criminals across the Force area. The impact was felt keenly by those involved in organised crime, with results amounting to £468,000 in cash recovered, £6.4m of assets identified for seizure and 44 arrests. A further £21,000 worth of drugs were seized, highlighting the close relationship between organised criminals and drugs dealers. Information on proceeds of crime can still be passed confidentially to Crimestoppers. Our investigations into the dividends of crime will continue regardless.

From everyone in ‘A’ Division, may we wish you a Merry Christmas and safe and happy 2012.

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, 'A' Divisional Commander.


The festive season is here and many of us will be enjoying extra socialising and taking the opportunity to drink more alcohol than we would normally. As we all know, alcohol can reduce inhibitions, which can sometimes lead to trouble.
If you follow this simple advice, your chances of putting yourself in danger can be greatly reduced.

  • Parties might start early. Pace yourself with alcohol or you may miss the party before it begins.
  • Stick to your drink. Mixing can get you drunk more quickly.
  • Leave valuables at home. Only take what you need.
  • Don’t accept drinks from someone you’ve just met. If you do, at least watch it poured.
  • Don’t leave your drink un-attended.
  • Look after your friends.
  • Plan how you’re getting home.

These are just some of the very basics but if you would like more information, please visit This site provides personal safety advice for people of all ages and situations.

  Local Operation and initiatives

During November the St Leonard’s Safer Neighbourhood Team ran a four-week long initiative targeting bicycle theft. Working with Local Intelligence Officers and the stolen property Search and Recovery Team, officers engaged in a number of focussed patrols and checks at second hand-dealers and bicycle retailers. During the operation, seven people were reported to the Procurator Fiscal for theft or reset offences. Thirteen bicycles, worth over £5000, were also recovered and returned to their rightful owners. Enquiries continue in relation to another four bicycles that were recovered during the operation. PC Janie Harman, who led the operation, said, “Given the number of people that use bicycles in the St Leonard’s area, thefts from common stairs or open spaces are all too common. I would encourage bicycle owners to think about security and to use strong D-locks; never leave their bicycle unattended without securing it; and to park in well lit areas, covered with CCTV, if possible. I would also ask people to take a few minutes to register their bicycle details on a national register at - especially those who may be getting a new bicycle for Christmas. It was great to reunite people with their property during this operation, however, this can only be done with good quality, descriptive information about the stolen items.”

Operation Arctic is an annual festive initiative that runs during the month of December across the St Leonard’s area.
Traditionally, the initiative focussed on retail crime in the Morningside area, however, this year has seen the initiative expand to deal with a range of common festive issues.
As well as targeting retail crime in Morningside, officers have also been carrying out high visibility and plain clothes patrols in the Meadows - to deal with anti-social behaviour and underage drinking; Newington and Southside - to target issues associated with the night-time economy and anti-social behaviour; The Grange and Marchmont - to deter would-be thieves.

Departing Inspector: Inspector Andy McLaughlin will be leaving his post in January and will be replaced by Inspector Andy McLean. Inspector McLaughlin has been responsible for policing the St Leonard’s area for the last 18 months and will take up a post as Temporary Chief Inspector in the north of the city. Inspector Andy McLean has recently been in charge of the emergency response teams across the south of Edinburgh and is a former Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant at Howdenhall.

  Appeal for information

Unfortunately, the dark nights and festive ‘goodies’ in people’s homes do make domestic properties more susceptible to being targeted by thieves. It is also not uncommon to see people going round houses offering goods and services, and although some of them are legitimate, there are some that are not. Lothian and Borders Police recently ran a 3-day operation that resulted in more that 30 arrests of the city’s most prolific thieves. Although this enforcement activity sends out a strong message to the criminals, it is also important that people think about the security of their own property. We would also ask that people look out for their neighbours - especially those that may be vulnerable - and report any concerns to the police. Most thieves do look for an ‘easy’ target and basic crime prevention - locking doors and windows; keeping valuables hidden from view; drawing curtains when it gets dark; and good lighting outside, all go a long way to deterring a potential thief.

Local Priorities

During November the local priorities were updated for the St Leonard’s area. For Southside and Newington it was agreed that careless and inconsiderate cycling would continue as a priority, along with graffiti in the general area and antisocial behaviour in Dumbiedykes. In Morningside and The Meadows, cycling and graffiti were also identified as priorities along with anti-social behaviour in the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links.
Commenting on the new priorities, Sergeant Steven Duncan stated, “The police and our partner agencies will focus on these issues and attempt to come up with initiatives that solve these problems on a long term basis. Anti-social behaviour and graffiti is rarely solved over-night and it is necessary to build up a picture over time. That said, problems can be solved, but we are heavily reliant on the public reporting things to us so that we can target the right areas and the right people at the right times.”

Operation Accessible

An operation targeting alleged housebreakers in Edinburgh has resulted in 37 people being arrested.

The three days of enforcement activity, during which officers from Lothian and Borders Police carried out a series of early morning raids at addresses across the Capital, were a culmination of seven months of work during which officers from Lothian and Borders Police recovered £200,000 worth of stolen property, and £3000 worth of drugs.

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, A Division (City of Edinburgh) Commander, said: “Operation Accessible has delivered a major blow against alleged housebreakers and other criminals whose activities cause so much misery in our local communities.

“Over three days our officers targeted suspected serial offenders, and sent a strong message that Lothian and Borders Police will take decisive action to protect our communities from harm.

“The Force is committed to bringing criminals to justice and preventing crime from taking place, and the public of Edinburgh should be reassured that we will use all resources at our disposal to do just that.

“We want the public to play their part by helping us identify criminals in their community in order that we can take the kind of action seen under Operation Accessible – rest assured any information received will be acted on, and treated in the strictest confidence.”

  A Division

City of Edinburgh help and advice National freephone helplines

Lothian and Borders Police
Non emergency
0131 311 3131

Lothian & Borders Fire & Rescue Service
Fire safety advice:
(freephone) 0800 169 0320

Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard
0131 556 4049
0131 557 0751 (lesbian)

For emotional advice if you are feeling depressed or suicidal:
0131 221 9999 (Edinburgh)
08457 90 90 90 (National)

Shakti Women’s Aid
Support and information for black minority ethnic women experiencing domestic abuse:
0131 475 2399

Signposts people with disability to a wide range of services:
0131 669 1600

Victim Support
01896 751 212

Women’s Aid
0131 3158 110

(calls may not be free from mobile phones)

Breathing Space
For emotional advice if you are feeling depressed:
0800 838 587

Help for people aged 18 or under:
0800 11 11

Know the Score
Free confidential drugs information and advice:
0800 587 587 9

Message Home
Get a message home for free if you have run away:
0800 700 740

National Debtline
0808 808 4000

National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247

National Missing Persons Helpline
0500 700 700

Runaway Helpline
0808 800 7070

Scottish Domestic Abuse Line
0800 027 1234

Shelter’s Free Housing Advice Helpline
0808 800 4444

Lesbian, gay and bisexual charity:
08000 50 20 20

Womens Aid
0808 2000 247

Call 0800 555 111 (24 hours)
Meadows/Morningside Safer Neighbourhood Team
Southside/Newington Safer Neighbourhood Team
Call 0131 662 5016/5017
City of Edinburgh Council
Environmental Wardens - Call 0131 529 7440
Antisocial Behaviour Helpline - Call 0131 529 7050 (24 hours)