City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Bonfire Night Sees Launch of Edinburgh Antisocial Strategy


By edg - Posted on 04 November 2010

Community safety teams from the City of Edinburgh Council have spent the week taking down "dangerous homemade bonfires" across the city in the run-up to Bonfire Night tomorrow.

“Every year we get hundreds of calls about nuisance and unsupervised bonfires putting real pressure on our resources at our busiest time of year. Our fire crews also see firsthand the damage caused to property and the risks of serious injury from out of control fires," says David Lockhart, Community Safety Manager at Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service.

The Bonfire Night campaign comes as Edinburgh City Council and Lothian and Borders Police launch their Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy for Edinburgh 2010 – 2013.

“We want to be smarter in how we tackle antisocial behaviour by addressing the causes and not just the symptoms and by ensuring that communities play a prominent role in this process," says Community Safety Leader, Councillor Paul Edie.

“It’s important the public don’t ignore issues affecting their community like nuisance neighbours, litter, fly-tipping, noise and graffiti, all of which can really impact on the quality of their lives and weaken communities."

“Tackling antisocial behaviour is a difficult challenge but one which can be addressed by good partnership working, moving towards long term sustainable solutions."

“The work being carried out this week by our Community Safety Wardens in dismantling the bonfires is a good example of preventing the potential for problems before they happen.”

Superintendent John Hawkins, of Lothian and Borders Police, hopes to build on successes of earlier campaigns.

Police cite as part of their previous success a 14% drop in vandalisms, 1,250 fewer incidents, in 2009/10, compared to the year before.

They also point to a 27% reduction in calls regarding antisocial behaviour to the Council over the past five years, and a 75% satisfaction rate from city residents on how the Council deals with antisocial behaviour (Annual Neighbourhood Survey 2009/10) – up 22% from two years ago.

"It is essential that we build on our shared achievements by reaching out further into local communities to build solid, long-lasting relationships," says Hawkins, "this preventative approach has yielded positive results of which we can all be proud."