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British Transport Police to step up patrols ahead of Edinburgh Fringe

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Edinburgh Waverley

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Q: How do you find a stolen train?

A: You follow the tracks :) 

Rubbish jokes aside, at British Transport Police, we’re getting ready to welcome thousands of arriving spectators to the Edinburgh International Festival.

As well as greeting and helping travellers, officers are also urging them to be vigilant and report concerns and crime to police. 

A large number of specialist police officers from BTP will be in Edinburgh throughout the Festival to keep people safe and deter crime. Officers will be highly visible but we will also be deploying plain clothed officers and specialist counter terrorism officers to ensure people are kept safe. 

This will be a nationwide security operation for BTP, with officers helping tourists and spectators as they travel the length and breadth of the country. 

Chief Inspector Sue Maxwell, commanding the BTP operation, said: “The Fringe festival is one of the greatest events in Scotland and we look forward to policing it every year. However, it is also an incredibly busy time for us and preparations have been in place for many months. 

“As with every year, we will have extra officers on duty throughout the event to prevent crime and help passengers travelling to and from Edinburgh. Officers will be highly visible throughout the network and will also be travelling with revelers on trains to and from the city.”

With over 6.7 million passengers travelling through Edinburgh Waverley in 2016, trains are expected to be very busy. Throughout August, rail staff and officers will be working together to minimise disruption on the network and to support and reassure the travelling public.  

Passengers are asked to plan ahead and leave plenty of time for their journey. Rail users are also asked to help police tackle crime by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious behaviour. 

CI Maxwell added: “Unfortunately, we know from policing previous events that a small minority of criminals can be attracted to the Festival. With large groups of tourists who are unfamiliar with the city, opportunistic thieves will be on the prowl looking to quickly snatch unattended items. 

“Therefore, I’d advise passengers to keep a tight hold of their possessions and not leave bags or items unattended on trains or platforms. This will ensure that theft is kept to a minimum and unnecessary security alerts are avoided.

“Since the recent tragic events in Manchester and London, of course our focus remains fixed on countering the threat of terrorism. From our four legged friends, to our highly trained officers, we’ll be on hand to make sure the public are kept safe from any potential threat.  

“Passengers are the eyes and ears of the rail network and with many thousands of extra people traveling to Edinburgh, I’d urge them to stay vigilant and report concerns to us. Nothing should be considered too trivial or insignificant – report it to us and expert police officers will investigate.”

Anyone can report crime or suspicious behaviour to BTP by simply, and discreetly, sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency always call 999.
 
Stephen Elliot, ScotRail Alliance security manager, said: “The ScotRail Alliance’s priority is keeping staff and customers safe and secure. We will be working closely with the British Transport Police during the festivals to make that happen.
 
“The ScotRail Alliance is doing everything it can to make sure the festivals run smoothly and that people have fun. That means putting on more services, extra carriages and late-night trains, to get people to and from Edinburgh. People from all over the world will be heading to Edinburgh, which means our trains will be very busy. 

“We encourage all customers to plan their journeys in advance, including booking ahead through scotrail.co.uk, downloading the ScotRail app or buying at ticket at the station before boarding the train.”

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Scotland 61016

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