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A Division News June 2011

'with you for you'

  Divisional Commanders Message

Our busy summer of events is well underway and as always the Division is participating with partners to ensure the smooth running of numerous local and international engagements. The successful conclusion of the Armed Forces Weekend has highlighted our ability to plan and host some of the largest gatherings in the UK.

The world’s press has focussed on the proceedings on the 24th, 25th and 26th June, and feedback has been extremely positive. Some official sources suggest that as many as one hundred thousand people attended the celebrations. Lothian & Borders and tri-services personnel worked in partnership on all three days in what was a unique collaborative effort.

Looking ahead, the State Opening of Parliament takes place on 1st July, as well as a number of prominent politicians, we are expecting representation from the Royal Family. This is another big event and an opportunity for the city to build on its reputation as a safe, secure and desirable location.

The Division’s end of month performance figures have just been collated, and it is encouraging to see continued good performance in key areas of business during the May to June period of 2011. Notable highlights include an 11% increase in solved housebreakings and an 8% increase in solved vandalisms. There is also a significant 6% reduction in reported serious assaults and our Safer Neighbourhood Teams continue to tackle crimes that local communities have highlighted as important. As ever, our objective to prioritise prevention and stop crime happening in the first place remains our central aim.

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, 'A' Divisional Commander.

Summer “Slip In” Thefts

At this time of year we regularly notice a rise in the number of“Slip In” thefts. These are committed in a number of ways; the most common being when you are in the garden and the thief slips into your house through an insecure door or window and steals your valuables. Similarly if it’s a nice day and you leave windows or doors insecure whilst you go about your business inside the house.

Remember, it only takes a second to slip in and steal cash, credit cards, jewellery, laptops, other digital devices or even your car.

If you are in your back garden, make sure that your front door is locked and secured, not just on the Yale lock as these are easy to overcome. Similarly if you have a conservatory or patio doors at the rear of your home it is important to secure them to prevent anyone slipping in whilst you’re working in your garden. In the rare event that we experience a particularly warm and pleasant summer, do not be tempted to leave your windows open when you’re out of the house. Open windows can be an invitation to thieves.

Always keep your car keys safe. Modern cars are virtually impossible to steal without the true key so don’t leave them lying around in vulnerable areas. Keep your keys with you or secure them in a safe place, not on a key hook or near the front door where they could be “fished” through the letterbox.

  Local Operation and initiatives

On 4th and 5th June St. Leonards SNT took part in the Meadows Festival. During the event Officers were involved in giving crime prevention advice and bike marking. Two Police vehicles were also parked on the Meadows that proved to be extremely popular with children attending the event. In addition to this officers from the Mounted Section provided high visibility patrols throughout the Meadows over the weekend ensuring that there was no disorder during the festival.

Midmar/Hermitage/Braidburn Valley Park Planning is currently underway in relation to a joint local initiative between Police and the City of Edinburgh Council aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour and related issues in Braidburn Valley Park. Prior to this increased weekend patrols have been conducted on a regular basis in response to concerns from local residents. Last year saw a significant number of thefts from motor vehicles in the Hermitage and Midmar areas. To combat this local officers conducted an operation highlighting the issue, encouraging motorists not to leave valuables in their vehicles. With the onset of the good weather and the increase in members of the public using these areas it is anticipated that the opportunity for thieves will increase. A similar initiative will be conducted over the coming months.

In the meantime we are asking the public to remain vigilant, not to leave valuables in their cars and report any suspicious behaviour to their local officer.

On Saturday 4th June, clothing left outside a charity shop in Summerhall Place was set on fire causing £4,500 of damage. A female and her 22 week-old child, in a nearby property had to be treated for smoke inhalation as a result of the fire. After protracted enquiry by SNT officers two females were identified as being responsible, they were subsequently cautioned and charged with wilful fireraising and remanded in custody. A male who is the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order was arrested after neighbours complained about his behaviour. The male, who had only recently been released from a prison sentence for a previous breach of his ASBO, was again remanded in custody.

Officers from St. Leonards SNT in conjunction with other specialist departments executed a drugs search warrant at a flat in the Bruntsfield area. During the search of the premises a significant quantity of controlled drugs and cash were recovered. Another search of a property in the Tollcross area uncovered a quantity of class A drugs. The occupier was cautioned and charged accordingly.

At the start of the month a recidivist housebreaker was detained after he was seen in a stolen vehicle. Items found within the vehicle subsequently linked the male to a housebreaking that had been committed earlier that day. The male was interviewed and gave admissions to several high value thefts throughout the St. Leonards area. After appearing at court he was remanded in custody.

  Appeal for information

Police are appealing for information after an armed robbery at an off-licence. The incident happened at 9pm on Friday 3rd June at Meadows Wine, Melville Drive, Edinburgh. The culprit pointed a firearm at staff and demanded money, before making off with a three-figure sum. The suspect is described as white, 25-40 years, messy dark brown hair, 6ft tall, average build, chubby face, wearing a white beanie hat, black balaclava or similar covering face, black Helly Hansen Jacket (half zip at front) with ‘Helly Hansen’ written in white on the rear of the collar and a ‘HH’ symbol underneath zip at front, grey t-shirt underneath with sweat patches, blue denim jeans, white trainers.

Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in confi dence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.

Armed robber chased by shop owner

Local Priorities

SNT officers are continuing to conduct high visibility patrols in Nicolson and the surrounding squares. As a result of this targeted activity several people have been arrested on outstanding warrants and put before the court. Several members of the public, who are known to cause anti-social behaviour in these areas, have had alcohol confiscated and told to leave the area. As a result of this there has been a noticeable reduction in the amount of incidents involving anti-social behaviour. Your local officers will continue to patrol these areas in order to deter and prevent such behaviour. It was mentioned in previous editions that more St.Leonards SNT officers have been equipped with pedal cycles. These officers have been carrying out regular patrols throughout the area, primarily dealing with inconsiderate cycling and road traffic offences, as well as providing a highly visible deterrent in your communities.

Boozed up - Squared up - Locked up

Lothian and Borders Police “Boozed up. Squared up. Locked up.” campaign was launched on the 1st June and concentrates on reducing weapons and alcohol fuelled violence. The campaign aims to remind people they are responsible for their own actions, and that losing control can have serious consequences for themselves, their victims, and their families.

Inspector Paul Matthews, Safer Communities Department said: “The alcohol-related violence phase of Lothian and Borders Police proactive prevention campaign was a real success last year, and we hope to repeat that success this year.

“Summertime means warmer, lighter nights, barbecues, house parties, late night drinking and extended opening hours – and it’s not surprising people want to enjoy these after the long dark winter.

“However, there is a very real link between alcohol and violence, often spur-of-the-moment, where both the victim and the accused are likely to be young men.

“We want to drive home the message that everyone is responsible for their own actions, and alcohol is neither an excuse nor a justification for violence.”

  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)