Heightened police presence as million tourists expected for festivals

Police promise more officers on the streets as full festivals return to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh festivals: Police increase presence for capital’s International Festival, Fringe and Tattoo iStock

Edinburgh police have promised a greater presence on the streets as the capital gears up to host one million tourists in August.

Operation Summer City has been announced ahead of the Edinburgh International Festival, The Fringe and the Tattoo.

The annual extravaganzas are making a full return following last summer’s scaled-down events as Scotland emerged from the Covid pandemic.

Police said more officers would be seen in the city centre, on hand to offer reassurance to the public, prevent crime and address any incidents.

Also returning to the city centre will be mobile police stations in Hunter Square and East Princes Street Gardens, known as Unofficial Fringe Venues 999.

“It’s always an incredible atmosphere within Edinburgh during the festival and with so many people visiting our city, it’s important we have appropriate resources in place,” said chief inspector Mark Hamilton, Operation Summer City’s silver commander.

”As the city gets busier, we may see reports of certain acquisitive crimes rising and while we will have an increased presence in place to investigate these, the public can play an important role in helping prevent these offences by always keeping hold of their stuff, being mindful of anyone getting too close to them and keeping valuables stored safely away safely.”

Many licensed venues will also be open later than usual, which could lead to an increase in alcohol-related incidents – officers will be working with bar and nightclub staff to keep these to a minimum.

Ch Insp Hamilton said: “I would ask anyone coming into Edinburgh to enjoy the night-time economy to do so responsibly and not have your evening ruined because of excessive consumption.

“Within the capital, we have special bail conditions that can be imposed on anyone who commits a crime in a licensed premises, or as a result of having been within one.

“If you are charged in connection with an offence the bail conditions will prohibit you from entering any other licensed premises within the city centre until the conclusion of your trial.

“The last two years without the festival in its full capacity have been a huge miss to the city of Edinburgh and its local residents and businesses. We look forward to welcoming everyone back, but please work with us to ensure it’s a memorable event for all the right reasons.”

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