Chief Supt Gareth Blair: No holidays for police over party season

No rest for the police this festive season as keeping the public safe remains a top priority, writes Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair.

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisonal Commander for Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

This is my last column of the year and I want to start with my hopes that all members of Edinburgh’s communities had a very merry Christmas.

For most of us, the run-up to the big day has involved a lot of careful planning and preparation to ensure everything goes well – from the gifts we buy to the meal we enjoy.

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For my officers and I the same level of planning and preparation has gone into ensuring we are able to keep the public safe over the holiday season. In our case that has involved working closely with partners and regularly reviewing our resource deployments to have officers in key areas at appropriate times.

This has been an ongoing process that began after Operation Winter City 2017 concluded.

So far, I’m delighted to say that no major incidents have occurred within the Winter City footprint and that our deployment model is working well.

We will not become complacent with this early success, however, as there’s still a few more weeks of the operation to go, including the world renowned Hogmanay street party. Rest assured that your safety during this event is our top priority and local officers will be supported by colleagues from various specialist departments and neighbouring divisions throughout the evening.

The public have a vital role to play in helping us deter crime and maintain the safety of those within the Capital by adhering to our information and guidance that can be found on the Police Scotland website.

Assisting us in delivering these messages is our social media starlet, Holly, who has been appearing throughout December alongside our officers. Thank you to all of those who have liked and shared these messages and who have been so supportive of Holly’s social media debut. She will be making a few more appearances over the next week, so stay tuned.

Finally I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year for when 2019 arrives.

• Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh