THIS week, I thought I would update you on what has been happening across the county.

As the Covid-19 restrictions are slowly eased, policing and our response is returning to a more recognised model.

This week we have reinstated our appointments system where we can again come to you at a convenient time that fits into your day, deal with your enquiry over the phone or attend immediately where required.

Officers are slowly returning to their normal working locations with new social distancing measures implemented and calls we are attending are more like what I would expect at this time of year.

Face masks, particularly on public transport and in shops, have been a hot topic and the current guidance is that they must be worn.

Police officers in the exercise of their duty are exempt from this; however, I have instructed that unless it is an emergency, my officers will wear face masks in shops and on transport.

In my last few columns, I have commented on a rise in large groups of youths congregating and in some instances causing anti-social behaviour.

Over the past few weeks I have had additional patrols and resources allocated to this and we have worked closely with East Lothian Council Safer Community Team.

What we have found is that groups of youths have been coming down from Midlothian and engaging in disorder with some youths from East Lothian.

At the weekend, my officers dealt with a large gathering of youths who were dispersed and got buses back up to Midlothian.

Some youths were charged, alcohol was confiscated and others will receive a letter home addressed to their parents through our Parental Advisory Letter (PAL) system.

This early action prevented disorder occurring later in the day and we will continue to do this over the coming weeks.

Our road and speed checks across the hotspot and coastal areas continue and we have contributed significantly to the national summer drug/drink driving campaign.

Our licensed premises and restaurants re-opened in line with the Scottish Government guidance and I am really pleased to say that we had no incidents reported and everyone enjoyed themselves sensibly.

The beaches and beauty spots continue to bring people from all over Scotland and, now with the English school holidays started, further afield.

Last weekend I witnessed first-hand the fantastic work done by East Lothian Council employees to keep the areas safe and clean in very challenging circumstances.

The next stage of lockdown is still a while away and I ask that you all continue to follow the current guidelines set to keep yourself and others safe.

If you are getting a holiday, I hope it is a pleasant one and that you get good weather to enjoy it.