Over 170 people arrested during Edinburgh Festival

Crimes during the Festival included theft, drugs, robbery and assault.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Crimes during the Festival included theft, drugs, robbery and assault. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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MORE than 170 arrests were made in the Capital during the August festival season for crimes including robberies and assault.

Police hailed the overall operation in the city centre as a success and commended the “vast majority” of festival-goers for their conduct.

I would like to commend the vast majority of visitors and local residents

Chief Inspector Bob Paris

Of the 176 people arrested, 156 were suspected of drugs possession and supply, thefts, robbery and assault.

A further 20 people were detained for various warrant offences.

Officers carried out high-visibility patrols throughout the city centre during August as tens of thousands of revellers flocked to the Capital for the world-famous arts festivals.

Their numbers were bolstered by extra resources from across Scotland, while plain clothed police conducted under cover operations in the Southside and Newington. Officers also liaised with staff at the city council’s licensing department to visit 726 licensed premises.

Licensing officers spoke to staff at every bar, club and restaurant to remind them to sell alcohol responsibly, and searched the premises to check there was no criminal activity.

Police Scotland said “significant” intelligence was also gathered about officers operating in the city, which will now be investigated further.

Chief Inspector Bob Paris, of the City Centre Policing Team, said: “With another spectacular festival now behind us, I would like to commend the vast majority of the city’s visitors and local residents for their outstanding conduct and support of our policing operation.

“During this month, local resources have been supported by colleagues from across Scotland to help deliver vital crime prevention advice to the public and to address the regular crime trends we observe during periods of increased footfall within Edinburgh.”

Due to the huge rise in the number of people in the Capital throughout August, city police generally see a “spike” in incidents.

Over the first weekend of the Festival, there was a spate of muggings, in which revellers were attacked in city centre locations in the early hours of the morning. Three suspects have since been arrested and charged.

In another case, a man was robbed by a teenage gang in the Sciennes area, while another group attacked an individual in Gibb’s Entry, just off Nicolson Street.

Two men and a woman have been detained in connection with the latter case.

CI Paris added: “In addition to the 176 arrests that were made, officers were also on hand to provide useful information to the public on safeguarding their belongings, as well as ensuring that the city’s pubs and clubs were adhering to the terms of their licences to keep revellers safe.

“I would like to thank our colleagues from across Police Scotland and our business partners in the City, the Festival and Fringe societies, as well as the City of Edinburgh Council and the SafeZone Bus for all of their support throughout the Edinburgh Festival.”

The SafeZone bus provides support to people who have had too much to drink, feel unwell or have any other issues during a night out in the Capital.

Based at Cathedral Lane, opposite the Omni Centre, overnight on Fridays and Saturdays, volunteers offer first aid and assistance for people looking to get home.