Safe Hogmanay

I was disappointed to read the inaccurate figures and assertions that the Hogmanay celebrations could be under threat in Edinburgh (your report, 6 November).

We have always supported Hogmanay and work closely with the organisers, City of Edinburgh Council, and other partners to deliver a safe and successful New Year celebration.

It is one of the key events in the capital’s calendar, drawing many thousands of visitors and residents into the city centre, and I want to reassure everyone that discussions around the cost of policing will in no way affect the staging of this year’s, or future year’s, celebrations.

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Last year, Police Scotland introduced a consistent charging policy for events across the country, and this is being applied for the first time to the Edinburgh Hogmanay ticketed street concert.

We appreciate this is a new 
system for organisers and accordingly we have taken the extra time to explain the introduction of these changes.

The charges are set to ensure that there is no financial benefit to be gained from policing and, importantly, that taxpayers’ money is properly spent.

The figures quoted in your 
article are unfounded and vastly inflated. Edinburgh Hogmanay is traditionally a very safe event, and the policing plans being finalised reflect both this and our work with partners to explore alternative security options.

As such, I can categorically state that the policing cost of this event will be lower than in 2013 and significantly less than the figure being claimed in the media. The Scottish Police Authority will consider the plan and any costs in due course.

I want to be very clear, our overarching aim is to work with all our partners to achieve a safe and successful event and I am confident that this will be achieved.

(Ch Supt) Mark Williams

Edinburgh Divisional

St Leonard’s Police Station