#AskLBP Chief Inspector Murray Dykes answers your questions


Ch Insp Murray Dykes in a webchatEdinReporter: 

Ok so to start things off – how about a little news about you? I understand you were in charge of the Olympic Torch relay last week – must have been fun?
 
Chief Inspector Murray Dykes: 
Yes it was a once in a life time event, which really captured the public’s imagination and of course the weather greatly assisted!
 
EdinReporter: 
So a little bit about you – you are Chief Inspector of the West Neighbourhood Area? How did you get into the police in the first place?
 
 
 
 
 
Chief Inspector Murray Dykes:
I was a pharmaceutical microbiologist at Nine Wells Hospital in Dundee, although I enjoyed the job, the nine to five routine did not suit. My father was a police officer and he always said it was a job that you never did the same thing two days running, which appealed. Between 1996 and 1999 I was one of the motorcycle sergeants based at police HQ. A really exciting job as the bikes were usually involved in the majority of major events occurring in the city.
 
EdinReporter: 
So now your day to day job involves looking after the whole of the West Neighbourhood – where does that extend to…?
 
Chief Inspector Murray Dykes:
The west Edinburgh area runs for Murrayfield through Corstorphine and out as far as Kirkliston and includes South Queensferry.

As the Chief Inspector for the west neighbourhood area (NA) I am based at Corstorphine Police Station. The west NA covers the council wards of Almond, Drumebrae/Gyle and Corstorphine/Murrayfield.

Two sector inspectors are responsible for community policing, Inspector John Cooper is based at South Queensferry Police Station, John Cooper covers the Almond ward with his Safer Neighbourhood Officers (SNT).

And Inspector Andy Gilhooley, based at Corstorphine Police Station, has two teams of SNT officers; one situated at the new Drumbrae Hub covering the Drumbrae/Gyle ward and another team based at Corstorphine, which looks after Corstorphine/Murrayfield

EdinReporter: 
One of the areas that you personally look after is Murrayfield and of course when there are concerts there it must involve a lot of police work… How do you plan for this..?

Ch Insp Murray Dykes
Murrayfield stadium has a capacity of 67,500. Usually the stadium is full of ardent rugby supporters who know where to park and the lay out of the stadium so in essence the policing operation is basically to get a large crowd in and out of the stadium safely.

For a concert, although the capacity is reduced to around 50,000, the challenge is getting a crowd who are unfamiliar with the stadium into and out of the ground. So in essence we need to interact with the crowd and the event organisers to a greater extent.

And we have a question about traffic around the Corstorphine area…. coming next from Lothian MSP Sarah Boyack.

I note that Lothian’s and Borders police ran a speeding campaign in response to reports that some CityLink buses and airport shuttle buses were speeding, most notably between Roseburn and the Zoo.

Can Chief Inspector Murray Dykes please provide an update on the campaign and what speed checks were in place and whether the campaign was viewed as a success?

Ch Insp Murray Dykes
This issue was raised as a concern by the community at the latest priority setting group. The local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) have undertaken to monitor the speed of vehicles on the Corstorphine road corridor and in conjunction with their Road Policing colleagues will endeavour to educate and, where necessary, enforce local speed limits. The SNT officers will report back to the group within three months.

 

Barry Koervers:  
With the increased media attention as a result of the Panda’s at Edinburgh Zoo, has it made a difference in how you would police the local area, especially on the build up to the arrival of the animals?
 
 Ch Insp Murray Dykes
 As you would expect there was a great deal of excitement around the arrival of the Pandas and that was just amongst the police officers involved!! As you would expect a great deal of prior planning went into their arrival at Edinburgh Airport and subsequent journey to the zoo. On an ongoing basis we have an SNT officer who is a liaison officer for the zoo and who can provide assistance to them in terms of local traffic management and increased crowd numbers.
 
Colin Keir MSP
I welcome the opportunity to read the views of Ch Insp Dykes in relation to Policing within the Western Neighbourhood Partnership area.As I am a former Councillor for the Drum Brae/Gyle ward who had a part in the decision making process which commissioned the new Drum Brae Library and Hub and still has an interest as the local MSP, perhaps Ch Insp Dykes can inform those involve here today;What effect the new facility is having on the NP area?
 
Ch Insp Murray Dykes
I know the Drumbrae library Hub project is a topic close to Mr Keir’s heart. The facility allows council service community staff and police officers to work side by side in the heart of the community. It is a bright modern facility, which is a real asset to those living and working in the area.
 
Natalie Hoy from City of Edinburgh Council West Team.Natalie is the West Neighbourhood Manager employed by the council and she works alongside the Police and other partners in relation to a range of different council services like housing roads and community safety.
 
Electric vehicle charging pointEdinReporter: 
Here is something we found at the Drumbrae Hub the other day…. what on earth is this..?
 
Natalie Hoy
That is our electric charging point for vehicles at the south of our building!
 
EdinReporter: 
Here is another question from Sarah Boyack MSP about housebreaking. Housebreakings continue to be a concern and priority in the local area. Can Chief Inspector Murray Dykes please advise what necessary steps residents should be taking to prevent house break ins?
 
 
 
 
 
Ch Insp Murray Dykes
The thought of having your house broken into and your possessions taken is probably the one which troubles the public the most. In addition to uniformed officers, in each of the neighbourhood areas there is a team of plain clothes officers who deal specifically with this crime and those responsible for it they build up a detailed knowledge of those criminals who are acitve in their area and the methods they use in carrying out their crimes. Sadly the large number of house breakings are carried out by a disproportionately small number of individuals. The key in all of this is to make your house and property as secure and as uninviting to the potential thief as possible. Contact your local crime prevention officers to provide guidance on measures to protect your home and property, on 0131-311-3131.
 
There is also an information page on the Lothian and Borders Police website.. with good tips on how to avoid housebreaking.  http://www.lbp.police.uk/crime_prevention/home_security.aspx
 
EdinReporter: 
So both you and Natalie work together in the West Area. Where do your jobs cross over in particular?
 
Ch Insp Murray Dykes
One of the main areas is responding to the community’s concerns regarding anti social behaviour. We do this by working closely together.
 
Colin Keir has a question about antisocial behaviour…. Can Ch Insp Dykes explain the strategy used to ensure public safety and combat anti-social behaviour in our parks and greenspaces?
 
Ch Insp Murray Dykes
Working on community information, we jointly patrol with SNT officers and council environmental wardens where the community may have concerns. We work closely with ‘Friends of Parks’ groups on improving amenities and reducing anti-social behaviour. Since 2007 we have been working hard to reduce the damage caused by bonfires in the area around Guy Fawkes. This has involved the community parks officers, police, task force and environmental wardens.
 
SNT stands for Safer Neighbourhood Teams
 
Kim Harding who is a well known city cyclist -What plans do LBP have to enforce the new 20mph speed limits?
 
Ch Insp Murray Dykes
 Enforcement generally lies with my Road policing colleagues, however, Safer Neighbourhood Team officers do take an active part in speaking to schools in relation to indiscriminate parking and general traffic around schools.
 
 

EdinReporter: 
One of the big drives by Lothian and Borders is to give the community a say in what their local priorities are for the police and the council. How do residents get involved in this?
 
 Ch Insp Murray Dykes
Local priority setting groups sit under the Neighbourhood Partnership structure and are meetings involving local council staff, SNT officers and representatives from the community, including Community Councils.

This is an opportunity to let both police and council know what issues are afffecting you in your area. Contact the West Team for further details or see My neighbourhood section of LBP website. There should also be posters advertising up and coming meetings in your local area.

Alternatively why not drop in to the Hub?

EdinReporter: 
And finally…by email  from Andrew – “Edinburgh seems to be home to quite a lot of crime novels (Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, Alan Guthrie, Christopher Brookmyre, Quintin Jardine, Alanna Knight and more have set books here) – is that a reflection of crime rates in the city?”
 

Chief Inspector Murray Dykes: 
Edinburgh is an extremely safe city in which to live, work and visit. It is steeped in a rich history which has provided a wealth of material for authors over the generations. Why not drop into your local library to find more. The new Drumbrae library Hub has 22,000 new books for you to enjoy. Personally I am a Morse fan! 
 
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