Where we are and where we will be

Where we are and where we will be
The idea of Edinburgh is a combination of place, soul and symbolic leadership of a nation

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

It is just not fair!

I spent time yesterday evening and again tonight at angry public meetings at opposite ends of the ward. It would appear that amongst my constituents that there is a real sense of feeling unsafe and unprotected by those whose job it is to be seen to be protecting them. There is also a perception that other areas get all the resources and they are getting ignored. On the second point, having won the argument to get more police and a community concierge team in the area it makes me angry to see both being lost to cuts and re-organisations that bear little resemblance to strategic planning

The police are in an impossible position. No matter how many times they say crime figures are going down, or at best not going up people say one of two things

  1. That's because no-one reports many petty crimes because they are fed up calling and no -one coming
  2. That's all very well but I want to see a policeman going past my house on a regular basis.
The police don't have the resources to respond to every call in 10 minutes nor to give the beat presence that everyone would like and anyway beat officers are rarely in the position to catch criminals or stop crimes happening as such, though they may have an effect of reducing the occurrence of some petty acts of vandalism activities. But yet they are seen as a panacea for many to feel safer. And that's the rub. This is not a debate about numbers but how folk feel and no statistic will make folk feel better, only a presence that makes folk feel they matter, that they've been listen to and that should something happen, there is some-one around to deal with it, (even if a beat officer quite possibly won't actually be able to provide the last one precisely because they are on the beat!)

Some of this was dealt with by the community concierge team which I successfully got for the area. people did feel that something was being done, some-one a was around with their interest's at heart and that they mattered to them But as part of the swingeing SNP/Libdem cuts that team has been cut from 16 to 9 and given a much bigger area to cover. So although the staff are working hard the people never see them and so their most powerful effect, re-assurance, has been lost.

The feeling of both meetings were that the people have been let down. I have to say that I agree and it sadness me because it could have been avoided.

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Surgery Times

1st Wed @ Piershill Library, 30 Piershill Terrace.
2nd Wed @ Craigentinny Community Centre, Loaning Rd.
3rd Wed @ Duddingston Primary School, Duddingston Rd.

All 7:15pm -7:45pm

and the last Sat. Lochend YWCA, 198 Restalrig Road South
12noon -1pm

(no appointment needed, all during school terms)
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