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

A Division News September 2011

'with you for you'

  Divisional Commanders Message

September has seen a host of events in Edinburgh, not least with the recent Unite Against Fascism march and Scottish Defence League gathering in the city centre. Both groups required unique policing efforts to ensure peaceful assemblies, and the Division worked closely with partners to provide freedom of speech without infl ammatory elements or disorder. The event concluded without any arrests and continued the fine public order record that the city has. Indeed, it is testament to the detailed planning and delivery for these rallies that people were able to continue shopping and travel across the city centre unaffected by events.

In regards to wider policing issues, year-to-date figures highlight a drop in recorded domestic housebreakings by 10%, while solvency has increased by 17%.

At the same time, some excellent initiatives have seen the rate of motor vehicle theft drop by 18%, and thefts of property from within cars drop by almost a quarter. There has been a 6% increase in solvency in general theft in year to date figures, and proactive campaigns such as Operation Cello have been significant contributors. Operation Cello began by targeting bike thefts in West & Pentlands, but following substantial success the decision was made to transfer the good practice employed to high volume crime in general.

Solvency rates in serious assault and robbery have improved markedly too - the latter increasing by 65% compared to last year - with continued efforts by staff in the city’s Violent Crime Units showing dividends. Combining these results with the good natured outcome of the demonstrations in Princes Street will continue to endorse Edinburgh’s status as a safe and enjoyable place to live.

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, 'A' Divisional Commander.

Metal Theft

Lothian and Borders Police recommend that you review the security of your property.

Please consider the crime prevention advice in this section to protect your property against metal theft.

  • Store ladders in a secure place. This is really important when building works that involve scaffolding are taking place.
  • Tell your insurance company in advance of any building work that you are doing. Not disclosing this information may affect your insurance cover.
  • Make it difficult for thieves to move stolen goods by removing wheelbarrows and wheelie bins. Put these items in a secure place.
  • Regularly check your roofs so that any theft of roofing materials is found before it rains and water enters the building, causing further damage.
  • Watch out for workmen arriving unexpectedly at a building.
  • Apply anti-climb paint to drain pipes and roof guttering. This restricts access to roofing. Do not apply the paint below a height of two metres. Display warning notices which warn people that anti-climb paint is being used. Display them prominently. Anti-climb paint can be bought from any security products company.
  • Consider installing security lighting, particularly at roof level where metal roof coverings are present. Check with your local authority if permission is needed to do this.

  Local Operation and initiatives

The St Leonard’s Safer Neighbourhood Team Cycle Unit has now been in operation for four months. 10 officers have now been trained and equipped to undertake their duties using pedal power. Careless and inconsiderate cycling has been identified as a Local Priority in the area and the Cycle Unit has been targetting cyclists that abuse the pavements and roads.

In the last two months, 30 cyclists have been charged and issued with £30 fixed penalty notices, whilst another 50 have been warned about the manner of their cycling and offered advice about safety related issues.

Local officers have amassed a total of 250 hours cycle patrols covering approximately 2000 miles in the area. As well as targetting cyclists, the bikes have been used to patrol pathways and remote locations to target youths underage drinking; dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour; searching for missing persons; and even responding to road accidents and other ongoing crimes and incidents.

The bikes have proved popular with members of the public and are offering a reassuring presence on our local streets. Officers are finding that they can get around the area fast and effectively and are keeping themselves fit in the process.

Constable Yocksan Bell who has been heavily involved with Cycle Unit stated, “Cycle Patrol provides a highly flexible means of patrolling our area. It allows us to provide highly visibile patrols in areas not usually covered by mobile or foot patrols to increase public reassurance”

Operation Artisan ran throughout the festival period and comprised a team of officers from across the south of the city.

Working with the festival organisers, the venues and local authority wardens, officers helped to provide a reassuring presence to festival goers, whilst aiming to prevent and detect any criminal activity. Some of the facts and figures from this years operation included:

540 formal visits to licensed premises;
13 arrests;
28 fixed penalty tickets issues for anti-social behaviour offences.

Acting Sergeant Steven Cairns, who led the police operation, stated, “The festival attracts tens of thousands of people to Edinburgh with only a tiny minority becoming involved in any sort of criminality. To have only 13 arrests directly related to the festival over a four week period shows how good-spirited the vast majority of revellers were.

Our success can be put down to working with a range of partners throughout the operation, to being visible and ultimately preventing crime and anti-social behaviour”.

  Appeal for information

Over the next few months, the St Leonard’s SNT’s will be running a number of initiatives aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour. One of the issues that will be targeted is under-age drinking. As well as providing a visible presence to deter and detect offences, officers will also be using other tactics such as ‘Test Purchasing’ – using underage youths to try and purchase alcohol – in an effort to catch those that buy or supply alcohol to underage persons. The success of such operations relies on the public’s help in identifying premises or areas where they suspect such activity to take place. We would urge the public to get behind us and provide the police with information where it is suspected premises are selling alcohol to underage persons or where people have been seeing buying alcohol for youths.

Local Priorities

Our three main local priorities at the moment include careless and inconderate cycle and antisocial behaviour, including vandalism.

As mentioned above, our Cycling Unit has been heavily involved in targetting all these priorities.

Some of the local pathways and more secluded areas can be diffcult to reach and are perceived as safe havens for those engaging in anti-social behaviour. Our Cycle Unit has covered many miles on these pathways and have seized alcohol of youths and distrupted their activities and prevented escalation in inappropriate behaviour.

Supplementing this activity, the Safer Neighourhood Team have been carrying out regular joint patrols with Environmental Wardens in areas where there have been complaints of underage drinking and dog fouling.

Again, we would urge the public to report any information in relation to these offences and activities to their local officer or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which will treat all calls in the strictist confidence.

Urinating in the Street

Police in Edinburgh are taking a stance on people urinating in the street with a new awareness-raising and enforcement initiative in the Grassmarket.

The ‘Don’t P*ss It Up Against the Wall’ campaign has been developed after concerns were raised by local residents about people leaving bars and clubs and urinating in the nearby closes and streets.

The Safer Neighbourhood Team in the city centre has worked with the local community and identified ways to tackle this ongoing issue, which is of particular concern during the busy Festival season when visitor numbers in the Grassmarket area swell considerably.

Key to the campaign was public support which resulted in 900 letters being sent to local businesses and residents asking them to attend public meetings to discuss ways of tackling the problem.

As a result of their views at the meetings the hard-hitting publicity campaign was created which will target customers in pubs and clubs and highlight the issue to visitors to the Grassmarket.

The aims of this marketing campaign are to highlight the negative impact this issue has on the local community and to remind both visitors and residents of Edinburgh about the potential £40 Fixed Penalty Ticket that can be issued by police officers for this offence.

In addition to the posters, beermats and vinyls that will be displayed, the opening times of the coin operated toilets in the area have been extended to 3am and the use of temporary urinals as a longer term solution is being explored.

City Centre Police Inspector Dianne Bruce said “while those enjoying a night out in town might think urinating in the street is harmless, it is a real quality of life concern for local residents and businesses.“

  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)