Leader: 'Despite these deaths, this is a safe place'

TODAY it is the Evening News' unfortunate duty to report another killing on the streets of Scotland's Capital.

The death of Simon San, 40, a takeaway delivery driver who came here from Vietnam to make a better life for himself, was a particularly nasty addition to a sad tally of death and destruction.

Just four days ago, this newspaper also revealed how Martin Hughes, 34, had been stabbed to death in a flat in Wester Hailes.

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No-one needs reminded that just last week the city was stunned by the tragic deaths of three small children in Slateford.

Of course, like any city, Edinburgh has had its fair share of infamous killings over the years, from the World's End murders to the death last year of Martyn Barclay at the hands of his girlfriend Caroline Igoe.

Other cases which remain open include that of missing Suzanne Pilley, whose body will be the subject of a search in Argyll this weekend by police and rescue teams.

All in all, it makes for pretty grim reading - and this at a time when we are welcoming thousands of visitors to our city and pitching it as a fun, safe place to be.

Despite these deaths and some inevitable crime, that's exactly what Edinburgh is.

It is understandably easy to focus on any town or city's underbelly - and the interest of the media, including the News, is a reflection of the fascination people as a whole have with such matters.

But it is important to keep it all in perspective.

Murders remain thankfully rare in Edinburgh. There were 10 last year and a total of 33 in the preceding three years. Every one was a tragedy for a particular family, but most of our lives will never be touched by such brutality.

All those murders were solved and in almost every case the killer knew his, or her, victim.

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Of course, no crime must ever be taken lightly and today we report a callous attack on a disabled man by children as young as nine who tried to push him into a busy road.

But overall crime fell by 10 per cent in Edinburgh last year, thanks in part to a more proactive approach by police.

So this is no mean city, and while we must back the police in combating what crime there is, it is as important that we don't let fear of crime restrict us.

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