Police launch festival safety campaign

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Police will maintain a high-visibility presence in Edinburgh over the festival season as part of an annual safety campaign.

With visitors taking the population of the capital to one million during August, Police Scotland said officers will be on hand throughout the city centre.

As part of Operation Summer City, Police Scotland will maintain their own festival base in Princes Street Gardens, named “Unofficial Fringe Venue 999”, where people can speak to officers, report a crime or receive information on crime prevention and personal safety.

Chief Inspector Helen Harrison said: “Edinburgh during the festival is one of the most vibrant and exciting places in the entire world and we want to ensure all of those enjoying the festivities remain safe throughout.

“Over one million people will be within the capital over the coming months, many of those being children and young people. To mark 2018 being Year of Young People, we will be targeting our messaging accordingly to reach this age group. However, our commitment to keeping the public safe stretches to those of all ages.

“Residents and visitors to the city, can expect to see a high-visibility police presence within the city centre and other busy areas over the coming month.

“Officers will be on hand to engage with the public, deter criminal activity and deal with any issues which arise.

“Our mobile police station, Unofficial Fringe Venue 999, also returns this year and anyone wishing to speak face to face with an officer can do so by visiting the unit at Princes Street Gardens.

“I hope everyone has an enjoyable, memorable and safe festival and, rest assured, we are doing everything we can to maintain Edinburgh’s status as one of Europe’s safest cities to live, work and visit.”

As part of a focus on young people, police will stock “trauma teddies” that can be provided to any children seeking reassurance following a distressing or criminal incident.

Mary Glasgow, interim chief executive of Children 1st, said: “Trauma teddies are delighted to be joining Operation Summer City this year, to comfort and support children experiencing distress.

“The teddies, kindly knitted by local community members, show children that people care about what they are going through.

“They also provide contact details for Parentline, Children 1st’s helpline and online family support service, so that children and families can access additional support to help recover from their traumatic experiences and move on with their lives.”

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