Below I extract some comments from a briefing by Insp Graeme Nisbet, our local Community Policing Inspector. (Graeme covers Southside and Newington ward as well as our neighbouring ward Meadows and Morningside). It contains updates on drugs activity in the area, including the current situation with NPS products), and housebreakings.
Drug related antisocial behaviour: the police and community safety team have responded to concerns regarding the use of New Psychoative Substances (NPS) and specifically instances of drug users injecting in public areas.National legislation is currently going through the Houses of Parliament in 2016, which will effectively make the sale and distribution of all NPS products illegal. Police and the Trading Standards Department have also been successful in Edinburgh with the introduction of a Forfeiture Order for shops selling such substances in the interim. The order now prevents the sale of such items and resulted in all shops being visited and all products removed.
Spot checks since then have recorded no products being sold.
At an operational level, local community officers and CEC environmental wardens are tasked on a daily basis to patrol areas where outdoor drug use has been occurring or where drug users have accessed common stairs. Since the beginning of August, 1700 checks have been carried out in the Southside corridor to prevent the problem and 117 people have been arrested for a variety of offences as part of ‘Operation Austinburg’ which was put in place to address the concerns raised.
Furthermore, we have also responded to information provided by the community regarding illicit drugs supply and carried out searches at a number of addresses in the area. This has resulted in a number of arrests being made and over £15,000 of drugs being recovered. Importantly, if tenants are found to be dealing drugs from their home address, Police Scotland will also look to encourage housing providers to take further action against them.
Speeding: Local community policing team officers have also responded to complaints of vehicles speeding in the area and they have been deployed each week to a number of locations in South Edinburgh to visibly enforce speed restrictions and deter dangerous driving.
Housebreaking: Break-ins to houses and business premises remain a key priority for Edinburgh Division and significant increased resources have been committed in our area to the prevention and investigation of this crime under the banner of ‘Operation RAC’.As a result we have made numerous arrests over the last six months both locally and across the capital. Often these arrests are as a result of calls from residents and we would urge you to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police immediately. Alternatively, if you wish to report information anonymously you can do so by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
To obtain crime prevention advice for your home or business premise, please contact the local Community Policing Team at St Leonards Police station by calling 101.