Welcome to my latest eMagazine.
In this month’s edition there are important updates on the Sick Kids site and Morningside Post Office. Meanwhile, in Parliament, there has been big debates on Universal Credit and votes for 16 year olds.
As ever, if there is anything you feel I can help with please feel free to get in touch using the below contact details.
Please find below a summary of the police activity in the South East over the month of September. This will hopefully give you an overview of some of the community and response work that has been carried out and is the first one I have written for the South East so if there is any particular area that would like me to try to cover in the future please do let me know.
During the month of September, there were 4857 incidents in the South East area, this includes 170 missing person incidents, 359 concern for and 86 domestic incidents. The 170 missing people incidents includes 76 from the Young Persons Units and of note 42 of these related to two particular females. Through regular meetings, we continue to work and engage with the units and the youths to try to reduce this demand and support these individuals.
Officers have continued to drive forward work and focus on local priorities such as housebreaking, violent crime, antisocial behaviour and drugs. Over the month there were 18 serious assaults, 10 of which have been solved and enquiries are continuing into the other ones. 13 of these serious assaults were linked to licensed premises or the night time economy within the city centre, 4 related to assaults within privates places, including one domestic incident, and the remaining 1 happened in public place. Most of the ones linked to licensed premises involved a single punch between individuals who did not know each other and had got involved in some sort of confrontation. We continue to focus on prevention work with the licensed premises and through the dedicated Night Guard patrols on a Friday and Saturday to target these issues and areas through high visibility patrolling and early intervention.
There were also 3 robberies and 3 attempt robberies, 2 of which are solved and there were no common trends or patterns across these as they were all isolated incidents.
Housebreaking continues to be a divisional and local priority with a lot of work dedicated to enforcement and pursuing those offenders who are responsible, whilst locally we also focus on prevention and tasked patrolling to disrupt. During September, 36% of housebreaking incidents related to business premises and 40% related to attempts or housebreaking with intent to steal. On one particularly challenging night, a number of housebreakings (including attempts) were reported to us and two males were identified as responsible for four of these and have been charged with them and two other males were identified for another two. A number of further key nominals were traced and arrested throughout the month from across the division. Almost half of the incidents occurred in the last ten days of the month, which links to the dark evenings setting in and we continue on a daily basis to review, monitor and task our work around key areas to tackle these. In October as a division, we will be carrying out an operation to build on our daily work, continuing to promote prevention and target recidivist offenders.
Southside and Newington Ward
The ward officers, Constables Harris and Mackay, have been conducting numerous uniformed and plain clothed patrols in the Southside corridor in relation to anti-social behaviour caused by drug misuse and alcohol consumption. They attended the monthly police surgery at Eric Liddell centre and also at St Katharine’s Argyle Church and a residents meeting with the residents of Carnegie Court to address ongoing issues. Residents were happy with police action at the problem address in relation to drug dealing and misuse and believe this has made an immediate impact. Ward and community officers assisted with traffic management at Pollock Halls of Residence. Officers had crime prevention stands at Pollock Halls, Teviot and at Unite Student Accommodation where advice, leaflets and assistance was provided to a number of new students. They carried out 4 road checks and conducted patrols for Operation Soteria, relating to motorbike anti-social behaviour. Following the arrest of a male on 4 warrants who was heavily linked with drug dealing/misuse worked with the council to evict him due to ongoing issues, positively impacting on the community there.
Liberton and Gilmerton Ward
Constables Cairns and Wilson have been conducting high visibility foot patrols and reassurance patrols across the ward area with positive public feedback, this has included in response to youth and motorbike related antisocial behaviour. During this they have charged 2 youths with possession of controlled drugs, another with reset of a stolen bike, another with vandalism and a male for various road traffic offences after being caught riding an off road motorcycle in Gilmerton and the motorcycle was seized. They are carrying out ongoing crime prevention/reassurance visits to Mortonhall Caravan Park and engagement with the manager and visiting tourists there. Constable Cairns held a Police Surgery at the Carnbee Association Annual meeting, where he provided crime prevention advice and distributed various crime prevention leaflets and is assisting the group create a Carnbee Community Facebook page. They conducted speed checks on Liberton Brae and Frogston Road, where no speeding offences were detected however 4 drivers provided with corrective advice. Both officers have conducted high visibility foot patrols at local primary and secondary schools. PC’s Cairns and Wilson attended at Gracemount Mansion and spoke with staff regarding crime prevention and antisocial behaviour advice. PC Cairns attended at Pinnichio’s Nursey along with a community officer to talk to the children during their emergency services week
Meadows and Morningside Ward
The ward officers, Constables Fraser and MacKenzie, have been carrying out regular patrols to target areas highlighted for ASB and acquisitive crimes, including patrols in the Morningside Road, Cluny Gardens and Meadows areas. Constable Fraser attended the Morningside Community Council Meeting along with the head of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in response to community concern to explain the legislation and rationale behind the decision making surrounding patients from the hospital being allowed into the community. The meeting raised various questions from local residents resulting in a very productive meeting. They spoke with approximately 22 member of the public at different police surgeries, identifying further areas for patrol and police attention. They conducted 4 speed checks, including 2 checks at Midmar Drive with one warning being issued to a driver. Constable Fraser has worked with Viewpoint Housing to reduce anti-social behaviour within one of their properties and since this intervention there have been no more ASB calls and it has had a significant impact on the quality of life of the elderly persons resident there. This has also resolved an emerging trend of related anti-social behaviour in and around Morningside Road which was impacting on local businesses. They also carried out a visit to the Melville nursery and delivered a “people who help us” talk to the children.
City Centre Ward
The ward officers have had a busy month focusing on the local community priorities and carrying out surgeries and visits across the area with an aim of prevention, intervention and engagement. This has included regular patrols also made of Hunter Square/Niddrie Street/Princes Mall regarding antisocial behaviour with a number of voluntary disposals of alcohol and street drinkers moved on.
They did a presentation at a City Centre Hotel to the Scottish Housekeepers Association on how housekeepers could help reduce crime in the city’s hotels, which was well received. Ward officers attended Lothian Buses open day at Annandale Street bus depot. This was a family event attended by approx. 7500 persons. The event was a huge success and members of the public were allowed to see in various police vehicle and have photographs taken.
They did a significant number of speed detection checks in the city centre, including Regent Terrace, St Colm Street, Palmerston Place and Regent Road which were chosen in response to complaints from local residents about the speed of cars. Numerous drivers warned and given corrective advice. Static observations of the junction of St Colmes Street and Queen Street resulted in one person being issued with a CO for no right turn, following complaints raised by residents. They attended a City Of Edinburgh Council Meeting regarding a cycle Road Safety Initiative planned for later in the year. Meeting was attended also by members from Edinburgh University and a joint operation is being planned. Officers along with a council vehicle examiner from the CAB office carried out checks on both taxis and private hire vehicles. A total of 22 vehicles were stopped resulting in 7 vehicle defect forms issued for no insurance, dress code and no ID. 1 taxi driver cautioned and charged for breaching taxi regulation 146 (plying for trade near to a full taxi stance).
They worked with a city centre primary school regarding persons climbing the locked gates after hours and smoking in the grounds. Local enquiry was made and it appeared the small group of persons were teenagers. The Head Teacher has provided officers with a key for the school grounds and they will continue to make regular patrols of the school grounds with a view to deterring the youths from entering.
Ward officers have taken ownership of managing complaints regarding anti-social busking in the City centre of Edinburgh. Whilst out on patrol the Funded Officers take a proactive approach when they see persons busking in an anti-social manner. On five separate occasions “yellow Card” warnings were given to buskers that had been busking in an anti-social manner. This warning provided then a clear explanation of the offence and consequences should they fail to desist. This more proactive approach has been welcomed by local residents and businesses alike.
Ward Officers met with staff from Street Work a local charity dealing with homelessness in Edinburgh. The meeting was extremely positive and there was clearly much common ground between both the Police and the charity. Several rough sleepers were identified as being in particular need of receiving a more bespoke service. A more joined up approach was agreed. Officers took part in rough sleeper count with CEC and Streetwork in the city centre area, resulting in a total number of 53 rough sleepers.
They also conducted visits/drop ins at:
- Whiteford House regarding ongoing drugs issues in the premises, and it was agreed that police will carry out reassurance patrols throughout the premises.
- Hyndfords Close supported accommodation, mediation between two elderly residents and visits in relation to ongoing issues with residents and random vandalisms.
- Salvation Army at Niddry Street to discuss ongoing issues with staff and service users.
The Family and Household Support Officers (FAHS) have continued to develop their close working with the council FAHS Teams with outcomes, focusing early intervention and prevention, including youth tracking and some key results include:
- Joint meeting in relation to seeking additional support for a male that has Mental Health issues and is contacting police on a regular basis intimating his suicide with several options for support and assessment being identified.
- Progressing a number of case meetings around ASB across the area, including the Pleasance and Moncrieff House
- Attending Infirmary Street regarding complaints about anti-social behaviour including rough sleeping, drug taking, littering (inc Drug paraphernalia) and public urinating and defecating. In addition the officer conducted several hi visibility patrols. An environmental impact assessment was carried out with joint partners and the principal complainers. Various recommendations are now being considered.
- Daily meetings at Captains Road with FAHS team sharing the previous 24 hours of incidents related to ASB and other associated issues that have a bearing on the local community and CEC concerns.
- Supplying advice and support to a Social worker regarding a client, with significant alcohol abuse issues, involved in a mutually abusive relationship with his partner. The problems having reached such a level that the client’s tenancy was in jeopardy. Advice was given in terms of police procedures and actions should the client decide to report matters to the police, which highly was recommended.
- Enquiries into reports of significant anti-social behaviour and also drug dealing in an insecure common stair in Fleshmarket Close, Edinburgh. A stair survey was carried about in conjunction with several visits to the stair to monitor activity. An RMCC was called in respect of the problem tenant. She was warned regarding her behaviour and offered assistance to address her life issues. In addition negotiations are ongoing between private residents and the council to have the stair secured. Arrangements have also been made for regular patrols to be conducted. The officer is also working with CEC staff to assist in preparing a case for eviction.
- Attending a joint partnership meeting in respect of begging. It was reported that two previous nominals have now been signed up to the program and progress is being made to support them initially in respect of health, benefit claims and housing. It was further reported that a male previously signed up to the program has had his immediate, potentially life threatening injuries, have addressed. He has been placed in accommodation and his benefit claim has been completed. Two more candidates were identified and arrangements made to approach them and offer similar support.
During October, we have developed local plans for community officers to be patrolling during the school half team in relation to Antisocial behaviour and youth issues, whilst we are also developing local plans for Halloween and Bonfire night. We will also be providing support to colleagues in the North West through Operation Myriad, to detect offenders who impact across the whole division in terms of motorbike and other crime and we are developing a local pedal cycle initiative following a number of reports of stolen pedal bikes.
The City of Edinburgh Council is running a series of public consultations on the following issues:
Message from Facebook:
Today Facebook have announced a significant new commitment to offer a digital safety ambassador programme to every secondary school in the UK.
The announcement is being made in partnership with the Diana Award and Childnet International, taking our commitment to online safety into classrooms UK-wide.
The commitment will see us offer training to thousands of pupils in secondary schools across the UK trained as Childnet Digital Leaders or Diana Award Anti-bullying Ambassadors over the next two years. This scales their existing programmes so that these excellent partner organisations can offer every UK secondary school dedicated digital safety ambassadors. We have worked with both partners for many years on building these programmes and we are really excited we are not at the stage we can make this commitment.
Digital safety ambassadors are young people trained to provide peer-to-peer support and lead online safety initiatives in the classroom.
This announcement is part of Facebook’s wider programmes, tools and policies designed to keep young people and adults safe online. I have set out below some of the resources available for parents, young people and teachers in your constituency in case you would like to share them on your Facebook page or website.