Monday, 1 December 2014

Local policing news

From time to time I get a briefing from local police.  The recent one is particularly helpful and, with permission I enclose extracts for you.  This briefing is from Ch Insp Richard Horan, Area Commander for the Southside.  It covers:
  • Meadows attack
  • Halloween & Bonfire night
  • Festive patrols
  • Housebreaking
  • Smartwater crime prevention
  • Cycle theft (including 'decoy bike')
  • Legal Psychoactive Substances (legal highs)

"(We) have been keeping you updated regarding the two serious sexual assaults which took place earlier in the monthAgain, I can confirm we are not linking the attack in the Meadows to the one in Gilmerton. A male has been arrested, charged and reported for the Gilmerton incident.

The Meadows incident is still under active investigation with a team of detectives working on the case. Over the last couple of weeks we have placed extra resources in and around the Meadows area.

Like Halloween, Bonfire night passed off peacefully, with nothing notable within the south area. We were exceedingly well supported by both staff from the City of Edinburgh Council South Office and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service during the week long initiative put in place to address anti-social behaviour. It appears to have worked.

Our festive initiative, which again sees our focus on the various corridors into the City Centre through the South, to prevent and deter anti-social and violent behaviour, launches today. Other national campaigns, such as road safety and domestic abuse, tie in nicely with our own local priorities and will keep us busy. On our local priorities, we have recently refreshed our local community plans with our six month updates - I hope they'll be published very soon.

Housebreaking remains a key focus. Whilst there have been significantly less domestic housebreakings this year, with more solved, we are still seeing the same areas targeted - specifically Morningside, The Grange and Liberton. We have refreshed our own local action plan around housebreaking and are relaunching "Smartwarter" as a crime prevention opportunity this week, alongside increasing our targeted patrols up to Christmas. On the enforcement front we have also made several recent arrests of individuals whom we believe have been carrying out many of these crimes.

We also had a great success with our decoy bike, which led us to charge an individual with theft. This helps to increase our understanding of who is stealing pedal cycles, and might just perhaps place that seed of doubt in someone's mind - "this bike I'm about to steal might actually be getting tracked."

I recognise a number of residents in the south area, particularly but not exclusively our large students population, make wide use of bicycles and the theft of these remains an on-going issue and of community interest. We will continue with deployments of both the decoy bike and other tactics to address this.

Other emerging issues remain the use/abuse of New Psychoactive Substances (more widely known as "legal" highs). Understanding and dealing with NPS and how they affect not just the users, but the public and public services, is a priority for officers in the South. It remains firmly an area we are focusing on."

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