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  • lbpolice 11:22 am on September 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: edinburgh, , , Malcolm Graham, ,   

    Edinburgh City Commander Malcolm Graham’s webchat with @EdinReporter 

    City Commander Malcolm GrahamAn unwelcome return of summer weather today! Heading to live blog with @EdinReporter now, please submit questions or areas to cover.

    MG: 

    My rank is Chief Superintendent, and I’m responsible for all policing across the City of Edinburgh. That includes leading about 1200 police officers, and 250 police staff involved in responding to emergency calls, safer neighbourhood teams across the City, the City Centre Police Unit and various specialist departments ranging from CID to Child protection.

    EdinReporter: 

    Your job sounds huge. Surely thats too much for one person? But only in the city centre yes?

    MG: Edinburgh’s a big City, and there are numerous different communities identified geographically or through another identity. The best way of effective policing is to set local priorities with communities and ensure that the police can respond to local needs and I don’t just cover the City Centre. I’m responsible for policing across the whole of the City, and work closely with the local authority and other partners in the public sector, businesses and the voluntary sector to make Edinburgh a safer and better place to live and work.

    EdinReporter:

    Yes I have seen how the police can work together with the local neighbourhood people at the council. It seems all very joined up.

    You were previously head of the CID so is this very different now?
     
      MG:

    I was Head of CID for over 4 years, and this included much pro-active policing to tackle organised crime and prevent offences against children and vulnerable people. Of course some investigative work comes once crimes have been committed, but the emphasis of policing in Edinburgh is on preventing crime, and improving community wellbeing. 

     EdinReporter: 

    So first of all can you answer Robert Pearson’s question about policing in Murhouse? He seems to think there are no police officers there and what do you know about the motorbikes.

    @EdinReporter: Can I ask @EdPoliceChief why we never see officers patrolling Muirhouse? This would assist with motorbike problem #askLBP

    MG: There are police officers in Muirhouse, and being visible and accessible to local people is really important both for preventing crime and understanding needs. Of course we can’t be everywhere at once, but officers regularly patrol where most crimes occur, on foot, sometimes on bikes and in cars. The motorbike problem is well recognised, and we’re trying to engage with mainly youngsters to turn their interest in motorbikes into a positive. I think Robert is aware of some of our efforts through ‘Total Craigroyston’ which aims to work with communities to improve exactly this type of problem.

    EdinReporter: 

    So that is something a bit like Operation Cipher up in the Calders which worked with young people, those suspected of drugs offences and also anti social behaviour.

    MG: It goes back to local solutions for local issues. Operation Cipher brings together a range of services with communities, to understand and act on shared solutions. Motorbikes are a problem in several areas of the City, but not a problem at all in many. We use Roads Policing Officers on special bikes to access certain areas, and support programmes like RUTS, teaching young people new skills relevant to their interests.

    EdinReporter: 

    Sorry you police officers and your acronyms. What is RUTS

    MG: 

    Rural and Urban Training Scheme – it’s a charity who train young people in mechanic skills, whilst assisting them with finding work experience and access to employment. Nothing beats crime like a payslip! And going back to visibility, I like to cycle to meetings in the City. It allows me to speak with people and hear their views. People like to see all police out and speaking with people, it’s the key to successful community policing. I don’t have a shiny car, in fact not surprisingly our fleet has reduced recently to save costs, and i’d like to see more cops out on bikes, covering bigger areas whilst still able to speak with people!

    EdinReporter: 

    And do you have police officers trained to teach schoolchildren about safe cycling?

    MG: 

    Safe cycling is trained by the police, but also by a number of other volunteers and groups. I’ve been at some of the training, and it’s really good, the kids learn basic road sense and have some fun too.

    EdinReporter: 

    Sara Dorman has asked how many fines you have issued for drivers who have crossed ASLs.

    MG: 

    Just like the cycle safe training for children, there needs to be a balance of education and enforcement to change attitudes towards road safety issues. I don’t have figures to hand, but we do issue tickets for this, although I think education and awareness is most effective at preventing road casualties. I really liked it when we assisted one primary school in getting children to challenge driver behaviour directly – that worked!

    EdinReporter: 

    And now a question about the perennial dog fouling problem… Sarah McDaid has a question for you. Although I am sure there are not 8000 dog owners in Leith.

    MG: 

    I’m not sure that I’ve seen 8000 dogs in Leith, but we do jointly enforce legislation around dog fouling with the Council. This is more of an issue in some areas than others, and people in Leith tell us there are many other priorities they’d like to see the police tackle, around drug use, anti-social behaviour and violence too.

    EdinReporter: 

    Now another question. Jim Slavin wants to know the religious and ethnic make up of the police force.

    MG: 

    We’ve made progress in encouraging a broad range of people to join the police, as we must reflect the communities we serve. The number of ethnic minority officers has increased steadily, although i don’t have information on religion. Interestingly, as communities change we have responded. We’ve recruited a number of Polish residents in Edinburgh recognising the large Polish community in Edinburgh, and this has been met very positively.

    EdinReporter: 

    One of the things you said you wanted to talk about is new ways of listening to the views of the public. Now you are a fairly new Twitter user. What else is there that you could do to improve communication?

    MG: 

    The police haven’t always felt it was their job to listen to people’s concerns, and understand how solutions can be built with communities. It’s at the top of my list now, to make sure people know that the police are only successful if they share the confidence of the people they serve. We’re catching up with new technologies and using different channels to communicate and listen to different people. That includes just going out into an area and asking people what they think we should be doing.

    EdinReporter: 

    So you would be happy for people to tweet some questions to you from time to time?

    MG: 

    People already do! I can’t always answer everybody on a current issue, but always try to let people know what I think, what the police in Edinburgh are doing, and am grateful that people take the time to get in touch about important issues.

    EdinReporter: 

    Ok so now for a moment back to cycling.

     @gillsart: @EdinReporter I cycle every day and would like the police to charge cyclists who cycle on the pavement?

    MG: 

    It can be really dangerous to cycle on the pavement, I agree. We do enforce the law on this in some areas, but thankfully there are now so many cyclists in Edinburgh that I strongly believe raising awareness and changing people’s understanding of road safety will improve things more (alongside some tickets being issued.)

    Jon Chase@chase_jon 

    That is what the council got the video transit vans to catch. They cost £100,000 each – the max fine is £60/poo.

    EdinReporter: 

    Can you answer Jon’s question about the CCTV vans?

    MG: 

    The CCTV vans are used by Services for Communities from the Council for a variety of purposes, and the police often get access to them for events and during operations. I’m not sure that they were just purchased to enforce dog fouling.

    EdinReporter: 

    EdinReporter: 

    Did you find that an easy policing exercise last Sunday? (Olympic Parade)

    MG: 

    Edinburgh is a fantastic City to police, as the Capital of Scotland we get loads of events, from Royal week to the tattoo, from marches and rallies to major concerts and sporting events. It takes a combined effort with partners to ensure public safety at things such as the Olympian Parade on Sunday, and many stewards are always involved in such events. It was a great day with big crowds on Sunday for Chris Hoy and others, and I lead the policing operation, but we only involved just over 30 police officers on the route, and for a relatively short time.

    @EdinReporter Driving onto and parking with two wheels on the pavement: an offence or just offensive? #askLbp

    MG: 

    The offence for parking and pavements relates to causing an obstruction, and of course being considerate to everybody else use of pavements and roads would be great. Parking wardens have a role in this, and it’s really offensive, as well as dangerous if such parking blocks, for instance, disabled access or emergency vehicle access. And of course there is a bill about parking in Holyrood now.

    EdinReporter

    Now for some grittier questions. Rob Munn former Deputy Lord Provost has rightly raised the question of armed police in view of what has happened in Manchester this week.

    MG: 

    Events in Manchester have been shocking, for everybody and particularly families and colleagues. The death of a colleague does provide a stark reminder across the policing family of the risks that officers take every day to keep others safe. Preventing gun crime is always a priority in Edinburgh, and it’s one of the safest Cities in the UK, and internationally as a result. I believe that we have an excellent support from specialist firearms officers, who are on 24/7 to respond, but more routine arming of the police is not the answer, even in the wake of such tragic events. We must relentlessly invest time and effort in local policing, with communities, who thankfully in Edinburgh will not tolerate the very small number of criminals intent on getting guns. There is some evidence from across the world that arming police can increase the criminal use of firearms, and that would be a step in the wrong direction. Officer safety is really important, and we constantly monitor these issues.

    EdinReporter: 

    Rob Munn also asked about proactive or reactive policing but I think you may have answered that by talking about the various operations that Lothian and Borders Police are party to.  How will all this be affected by the introduction of the new national police force… For starters how will it affect you personally?

    MG: 

    The move in April next year to the Police Service of Scotland is a massive change for the police, but thankfully the purpose of the new service is now enshrined in legislation as being about preventing crime, making communities safer and improving community wellbeing. That’s what we’re all about in Edinburgh, and whilst we need to respond to crimes and criminals to protect people, we know that investing efforts in preventing crime and criminals from developing at the earliest age is the best way of really improving the lives of people across the City.

    For me personally, I aim to make local policing in Edinburgh better than it currently is whilst making best use of a national service and all the specialist resource. Local response officers and safer neighbourhood teams will continue to work locally to neighbourhood priorities.

    EdinReporter: 

    And is it true that the HQ for the national police force will not be in Edinburgh?

    MG: 

    THe Scottish Government have decided that interim HQ will be at the Scottish Police College in Fife, and it will be for the new Scottish Police Authority and Chief Constable to make longer-term arrangements. No matter where the HQ is, it’s local policing that makes the difference!

    @closey03: @LBP_Police, When does recruitment open for new police constables?

    MG @closey03 we’re recruiting Special Constable’s now, on the @LBP_Police website.

    MG: 

    There will be a need to recruit officers to maintain the number we currently have through this year, and we’re actively recruiting Special Constables, who play an increasingly important role in working alongside regular cops, in their communities. I’m also exploring ways of using volunteers to do things that we can’t currently do, that people tell us are really important, such as making sure we’re meeting people’s needs if they report a crime or incident.

    EdinReporter: 

    Now we are drawing to a close and just wonder if there is anything that our readers can do to help the police in Edinburgh?

    MG: 

    I really welcome people getting involved in telling me and other officers what they think about the police, the service we provide and how we can improve. Different views are always really useful, and it’s clear that people really care! We always need people to come forward and tell us what is happening, to report crime, and to support local policing.

    EdinReporter: 

    So thank you to you Malcolm for your time this evening. We have enjoyed meeting you!

    You have to get back on your bike now – hope you’ve got lights

    MG: 

    I hope the rain’s gone off. We’re not ‘fair weather’ cyclists, but Edinburgh always looks at her best in the sun! I’ve got lights, a lock, a bell and my radio.

     
  • lbpolice 10:47 am on May 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: edinburgh, festival, marathon,   

    Edinburgh Marathon Festival 26th and 27th May 2012 road closures information #marathon 

    Edinburgh Marathon Logo

    The Edinburgh Marathon Festival takes place this weekend, and as a consequence there will be a number of road closures and parking restictions on the route which takes in areas of Edinburgh and East Lothian.

    The Edinburgh Marathon Festival includes the Edinburgh Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay, 10km, 5km and 5km Wheelchair race, Mascot Race and Junior Races.

    More details at Edinburgh Marathon Website

    Saturdays races around Holyrood Park will have minimal road closures and parking restrictions.

    Road closures and parking restrictions Saturday

    Road closures and parking restrictions Sunday

    Remember, check the weather forecast and take approriate precautions.

    Good luck to all the runners.

     
  • lbpolice 3:19 pm on May 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 6VT, cafe, drop in, edinburgh   

    6VT Cafe now open on Saturday evenings 

    6VT Cafe

    6VT Cafe

    At the heart of all the 6VT services is the Drop In. Operating an open door policy, the Drop In is open to any young person living in the Edinburgh aged 14 -21 years of age. Each month there is a programme of social, educational and personal development activties which young people can participate in if they wish.

    Our West End Central Safer Neighbourhood Team  have been working with 6VT Youth Café and Edinburgh Council and funding has been secured for the youth café to be opened on a Saturday night. This starts this weekend, Saturday 5th May from 6pm to 10pm.

     
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