Shirley McLaren is the Community Safety Manager at City of Edinburgh City Council. On Tuesday 13th April, Shirley explained to SCSN how her and her teams’ efforts helped to reduce levels of violence and antisocial behaviour in the Meadows in Edinburgh.

The Meadows is a green space in Edinburgh that attracts people from across Edinburgh and from further afield. Although it is a relaxing, family friendly and accessible space, problems such as anti-social behaviour, littering and dog fouling can be commonplace. Recently there were over 5000 people in the Meadows, which is especially alarming given that Covid-19 restrictions are still in place. Due to the sunny weather and bank holiday weekend, young people from across the Lothians and from Glasgow gathered in the Meadows. Many people were under the influence of alcohol and as the day progressed the mood changed from friendly picnics to violence and anti-social behaviour, with behaviour such as bottle throwing and brawling. Side streets and lanes surrounding the Meadows were used as public toilets with some local residents seeing up to 40 people urinating and defecating in the streets next to their houses over the course of the day.

Read the full practice exemplar here: