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

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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?

    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. 


    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.


    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.


    Sorry you police officers and your acronyms. What is RUTS


    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!


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


    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.


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


    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!


    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.


    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.


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


    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.


    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?


    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.


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


    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.


    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?


    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.


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


    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.



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


    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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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?


    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.


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


    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.


    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.


    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?


    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.


    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


    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 2:53 pm on July 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dog, ellie, , , police, zico   

    You can run, you can hide, but LBP Police Dogs, Ellie and Zico will find you 

    Police Dog trackingSix men have been detained in connection with alleged housebreaking and thefts following excellent work by police dogs and handlers with the Lothian and Borders Police Specialist Support Unit.

    Around 3.25am today (Wednesday) police responded to an address in Clovenstone Drive after receiving reports of men trying to steal a car.

    On arrival, a group of males made off from the scene and were pursued by officers.

    Police Dogs Ellie and Zico, who are both German Shepherds, were deployed and within a short time all four men had been traced in and around garden areas of Clovenstone Gardens.

    An hour later police were called to Craigcrook Road in Edinburgh after two men were spotted acting suspiciously in the area.

    Officers detained one man within a white Transit van. However, another male made off into nearby woodland and was tracked by Police Dog Zico.

    PD Zico immediately picked up the man’s scent and he was very quickly traced hiding within foliage.

    The men detained during both these incidents are all currently assisting police with their investigations.

    Police are also following a positive line of enquiry following the theft of a quad bike at Ransfield Farm in Ratho around 6am yesterday (Tuesday).

    PD Ellie, who was deployed to assist with the search for two men seen stealing the vehicle, soon after recovered a balaclava believed to belong to one of the suspects.

    The item is now being analysed by police, who are warning would-be thieves to thing twice before becoming involved in acquisitive crime.


    Chief Superintendent Derek RobertsonChief Superintendent Derek Robertson, Operations Division Commander said: “Lothian and Borders Police are committed to promoting preventative policing and regularly engage with our local communities to offer advice and guidance on how to keep properties and valuables safe from criminals.

    “However, whenever a crime does occur, we will use all the resources at our disposal to identify and trace those responsible and bring them to justice.

    “Our police dogs are trained to an extremely high standard and are regularly used with great success during the various operations and day-to-day policing duties the Force undertakes.

    “As these recent incidents have shown, those who flee the scene of a crime can and will still be brought to justice based on the competent work carried out by the our dogs, their handlers and the other specialist resources Lothian and Borders Police can utilise during an investigation.”

  • lbpolice 11:46 am on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , police   

    #Blast from the past – 1896 Officers of West Lothian Constabulary 


    This is how some of our officers from West Lothian,our current F Division, looked the last time that Hibs and Hearts met in the Scottish Cup Final 116 years ago. As you can see moustaches were ‘standard issue’ other than the rookies.

  • lbpolice 10:16 am on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , police, strathclyde   

    #lbpcup Message from Strathclyde Police Cup Final Match Commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Bates 


    More than fifty thousand Hearts and Hibs fans will travel to Glasgow for the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday 19 May 2012.  For many supporters this will be a day to remember for many years to come and as such we extend a very warm welcome to the teams and supporters of both clubs.
    Match Commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, said:

    “There’s no doubt Cup Final Day will be a memorable and exciting occasion and I would like to warmly welcome the teams and the fans to Glasgow. I’m sure the atmosphere at the national stadium will be electric, there’s nothing quite like a football final at Hampden and of course we want everyone to enjoy the game whatever the result. Passions will be running high as these two premier league teams compete to lift the Scottish Cup.
    “However, keeping people safe will still be the priority for Strathclyde Police.  Due to the large number of people travelling to the national stadium, our main consideration is to make sure everyone gets to and from the match, safely, on time and without incident.  We have been working closely with our counterparts to ensure the experience is a good one and one which will be treasured for many years to come.”


    Many fans may not be aware of the different laws in place in Glasgow – please read the important information below to ensure Cup Final Day is remembered for all the right reasons.

    • Drinking alcohol on the streets or in a public place in Glasgow is an offence. 
    • Drinking alcohol on public transport including buses and trains is not permitted. 
    • You cannot bring, or attempt to bring alcohol into the national stadium.
    • Don’t miss a memorable match because you have drunk too much and therefore don’t get into the stadium. 
    • It is illegal to attempt to enter the stadium in possession of a flare or a smoke bomb.
    • Officers will be on hand to offer help, if required. We are here to ensure the safety and security of all supporters attending the game and minimise disruption to the local community.

    I hope that this advice is useful and helps ensure all fans have a fantastic, unforgettable day.
    We are aware of the impact such events can have on local residents and we will have resources in place to minimise that disruption.

    Glasgow is a great city, able to host the biggest and most exciting events and this is no different.  As with any major event, public safety is a priority and additional patrols will help ensure the day is a great success and one which passes off without serious incident or inconvenience.

  • lbpolice 3:11 pm on May 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: awards, borders, , excellence awards, john lennon, police   

    Borders officer wins Community Policing award at LBP Excellence Awards 

    Constable John Lennon who works at Galashiels Police Station was the winner of the Community policing Award at the recent Force Excellence Awards at Police Headquarters. In an interview with the Border Telegraph the 54-year-old former soldier,who has been in Lothian and Borders for 15 years say it’s a job he loves. “It is humbling to be nominated for this award and then win it. “

    A number of officers and members of the public from the Scottish Borders picked up awards and you can read the full article in the Border Telegraph or view interviews with the winners and senior officers on ITV Border.

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