Cllr Ashley Graczyk addresses 'lack of obvious progress' on anti-social behaviour in Sighthill

A local Edinburgh councillor has urged the public to report incidents of anti-social behaviour and vandalism to the police.

Councillor Ashley Graczyk, who represents the Sighthill/Gorgie ward, addressed locals’ concerns about the lack of action on criminal behaviour plaguing the area in a Facebook post.

She agreed that there had been “a lack of obvious progress”, as she told constituents that she had shared their concerns with the police.

Last month, Councillor Graczyk asked for police intervention after several incidents involving groups on off-road motorbikes in the Sighthill and Gorgie area.

On Tuesday, she wrote: “I have again made it very clear to Edinburgh Police Division that there are many angry and concerned residents contacting me as well as on local Facebook community groups, and I have highlighted that there is a feeling of nothing is being done due to the lack of obvious progress.”

She also told constituents that she has raised concerns about “the lack of visibility from the police” in the community.

While she was only able to give a limited update, she said: “The police are as keen as many others to take these off-road motorbikes off the users for a number of reasons and they have not given up, and they do understand the impact this has, on not only in our local area, but also the physical and mental health of those using the parks for exercise and leisure.

The police are continuing with their lines of investigations and enquiries, and are working with the Council and other agencies.”

Councillor Graczyk urged the public to report any incidents, and noted: “When residents phone in (or report online[..]) to the police, EACH CALL INCREASES THE DEMAND IN THE AREA, THIS JUSTIFIES THE POLICE REQUESTING ADDITIONAL RESOURCES/FUNDING.”

Inspector Keith Forrester, Wester Hailes Police Station, said: “We are aware of recent anti-social behaviour in the Broomhouse and Sighthill Park areas.

“Antisocial behaviour has an adverse impact on our local communities so we are working with partners to address these issues and prevent them recurring.

“Operation Pillar was introduced to deal directly with anti-social behaviour and the use of off-road bikes in these areas, this was in response to concerns raised by the local community.

Inspector Forrester noted that police were carrying out enquiries, after recovering a stolen off-road bike in Sighthill Park.

He continued: “We want to ensure our streets are safe and that people can live free from the anti-social behaviour of others. We have dedicated patrols to tackle these issue, which will continue as this is a priority for the South West Policing Team.

"There are appropriate police resources in place to respond to on-going incidents in the South West of Edinburgh, however the unpredictable nature of policing can mean that these officers are needed to support other on-going serious incidents in the city at times.

“We also have the ability to draw on additional resources should they be required. We will continue strive to carry out regular patrols in order to support our local priorities.

“If anyone has any information regarding those responsible for anti-social behaviour, or the use of off road motorcycles, we would encourage them to contact the Police Scotland. Please provide as much information as possible so we can act to prevent problems.”

Published in Edinburgh News | 4th May 2022