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And Essential Edinburgh – whose members include Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Standard Life – will also help fund two workers being employed by homelessness charity Cyrenians to offer direct help to people sleeping rough in the city centre.“What we are keen to do is have a constant presence in the city centre, the same person so we have a face people can know and engage with,” he said.
One officer is expected to start work next month as a trial scheme, with the hope of moving to two full-time officers from this time next year.“The key thing is we want to create relationships so the police are in the BID area all the time, going around talking to retailers, to bars and restaurants, getting to know people, having a single point of contact, liaising with all the businesses and obviously having a presence on the streets.”Mr Smith said the officers would also play a key part in Essential Edinburgh’s efforts over begging and homelessness.“It has been a growing issues in the city centre over the last few years.
“But it’s a management issue as opposed to a solving issue because unless there’s bylaws to stop it happening you can’t stop it.“We’re getting involved because there’s been a definite increase in the last couple of years in the number of people you will see on the street begging and our members are saying it’s a big issue.“It makes people feel uncomfortable if you’ve got beggars on the streets.
If they’re sitting outside shops then it deters people from going into those shops, people don’t walk as close to the shops; if you have homeless people it creates issues of hygiene and health in the morning.“We already spend a lot of time cleaning up after the homeless have been living on the streets.”Ewan Aitken, chief executive of Edinburgh Cyrenians, praised Essential Edinburgh for trying to find “a positive solution to a negative issue”.
“It’s not a case of businesses just wanting to shift the problem out of the city, we want to support these people and give them options that don’t include living on the street and begging.”He said some homeless people slept on the street by choice, despite hostel places being available, and begging was sometimes also a choice.“Although he is seriously unwell, he was able to recount how he faced the attackers armed only with his baton, outside London Bridge station.“For an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud.Attenborough was also told initially by the cab company which brought Nyznik, Cabero and the complainant to the hotel that in-cab video was available only for 72 hours.Later, by which time it was too late, Attenborough learned in fact that footage could have been available for as long as 30 days, depending on how busy the cab driver was. The Westin provided police with a USB key of 22 video clips and a “camera activity report” in January of 2015.