Today, I received the following e-mail from the Police Scotland commander of my local council’s patch. While undoubtedly sincere in wishing to help us locals enjoy a mishap-free festive season, in its dogged effort to cover all the bases, it does fail any test of a ‘festive message’—the mysterious “Operation Tinsel” notwithstanding: it fails to wish anybody anything, least of all “Merry Christmas”.
Quite apart from that, some personal element would not have gone astray—something reassuring like a local reference. That might dispel the impression that, under Stephen House’s direction, this same centralised message went out from Hamnavoe to Hawick.
Festive Safety Message For East Lothian Public
“Police in East Lothian are issuing a safety message to ensure the public enjoy a safe and crime-free festive season. The Christmas and New Year period is a busy time for emergency services and local authorities with many people enjoying nights out across the county. During this time, a number of alcohol-related incidents are reported including disturbances, assaults and antisocial behaviour. Local officers will now begin engaging with their communities to promote responsible behaviour for those enjoying the festivities.
“To enhance our commitment to Keeping people safe, Police in East Lothian have progressed Operation Tinsel that will run between 4th December and 6th January.
“Licensing Officers will visit the various pubs and clubs within the region to speak with staff and remind them of their responsibilities when serving alcohol to patrons. Over the festive weekends, high-visibility patrols will be out during the evenings and will carry out inspections of licensed premises during this time. Any criminal activity witnessed will be appropriately dealt with.
“Police are also keen to ensure those enjoying the night-time economy are able to get to and from their destinations safely. Revellers are urged to plan their nights in advance and make sure they know where they are going; how they are getting there and back and whom they are going with. While within a pub, club or restaurant and when returning home, people are advised to always be aware of their surroundings and never leave items such as jackets and handbags unattended or unsupervised.
“Anyone wishing more advice on keeping themselves and their belongings safe can contact their local policing team or visit the Police Scotland website.
“With increased numbers of shoppers expected on the High Streets, the public are reminded to be vigilant for pickpockets and other criminals looking to obtain your money and possessions. Be wary of anyone acting suspiciously around you in crowded areas and always protect your pin number when withdrawing money or paying for gifts.
“The holiday season can also result in increased reports of housebreakings and thefts with criminals targeting the homes of those who have left to visit family and friends. When leaving your home unattended, ensure all windows and doors are locked securely and keys are not left in the keyhole. Where possible store items of value out of sight and report any suspicious activity around your property or neighbouring addresses to police immediately.
“Throughout December and January, increased police patrols will be deployed across East Lothian to identify potentially vulnerable properties and deter crime. Chief Inspector Colin Brown Local Commander for East Lothian said:
“The festive period is a time of celebration and relaxation for our communities, many of whom will head out and about enjoying a night out with family, friends or workmates. It is therefore essential that the public are equipped with all the necessary advice and guidance on staying safe. Simple steps such as drinking responsibly, planning evenings in advance and always being aware of your surroundings will help make sure your evening is an enjoyable and safe one.
“As part of our commitment to keeping people safe, we will be engaging with licensed premises across East Lothian and urging staff to use their best judgement and refrain from selling alcohol to anyone who appears to have consumed too much. Licensees will also be asked to report any criminal activity on their premises to police immediately.
“Higher levels of acquisitive crime are also reported during the holiday season and our communities should help safeguard themselves against thieves – both at home and while out.
“Keeping hold of your belongings when on a night out or when shopping will help deter would-be thieves, while appropriately securing your home when leaving it unoccupied make it far more difficult for criminals to strike.”