Police launch campaign to tackle violence in South West Edinburgh

Police Scotland launched a new campaign to tackle violence in the South West of the city during the summer months.

Since April this year, there have been 36 reports of violent crimes reported in the region, with the majority of these occurring within Sighthill, Wester Hailes and Gorgie.

This included 13 serious assaults, 11 assault and robberies, four attempted murders and one murder.

Detection rates for crimes of violence within South West Edinburgh are at 86% and there is no evidence to suggest a rise in the number of offences where violence has been a factor. However, given a number of high-profile incidents, police have launched Operation Abask.

Local officers will be working closely with partners from the City of Edinburgh Council to deter further violent crimes and ensure those responsible for such incidents are robustly brought to justice.

The launch of Operation Abask coincided with the national roll-out of Police Scotland’s Safe Summer Campaign and Edinburgh’s South West Community Policing Teams joined Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams and local elected members for a special partnership briefing on the plans to tackle violence in the area.

Over the coming weeks, police will host various street surgeries to engage with local communities and offer crime prevention advice while at the same time gathering information on violent offenders living within the area.

In addition, officers will be carrying out a range of enforcement activity to disrupt violent crime and arrest anyone currently wanted on warrant for violence.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Environmental Wardens will also support local policing patrols to conduct environmental audits of the South West and determine areas that require immediate attention.

Chief Inspector Helen Harrison, Local Area Commander for South West Edinburgh, said:

I want to make it very clear that there is no rise in violence within the South West of Edinburgh and our detection rate for crimes of this nature is very high. However, there have been a number of high-profile incidents recently that we wish to respond to in order to reassure the public.

Every day we have partnership briefings with our colleagues at the City of Edinburgh Council, including Family and Household Support Team, to discuss any ongoing issues and through Operation Abask, we are now utilising this collaborative approach to tackle violence.

We will be out within the communities across South West Edinburgh to conduct high-visibility patrols, leaflet drop and engage with the public as well as actively targeting violent offenders through the enforcement of warrants.

Our partners have a really important role to play in this campaign through their access to resources for cleaning up the local area, working with those affected by violent crime and even the housing of anyone involved in these sort of offences.

Together, we will be working hard to improve the quality of life for all residents within South West Edinburgh and to send a clear message that violence in any form will not be tolerated.

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