I WANTED to start this week’s column to make an appeal to everyone to continue to follow the Scottish Government's coronavirus guidance, particularly with Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night approaching.

Celebrating these events is normally great fun for everyone. For many years, I have gone to the fireworks display at Humbie with my wife and two young children. Sadly, due to Covid, all these events are cancelled and I am having to explain to my children why they cannot go guising this year.

We are, however, coming up with lots of creative ways to keep them entertained, including a dressing up spooky dinner over Zoom with the grandparents.

Every year for Hallowe’en my kids pick my costume and keep it as a surprise till the last minute – last year I was Frankenstein’s monster and getting my face painted by a four-year-old was in itself an experience!

Although this year will be different, we will do what we can to make it fun and I urge you to do the same. There is advice on the parent club website (parentclub.scot) on how to have a great Hallowe’en at home whilst adhering to the Government guidelines.

November is always a very busy time for police and our partners and, as always, we have additional local officers, supplemented by national resources out in the area keeping everyone safe.

I know that some people may consider using fireworks in their back gardens and if you do, please do so responsibly and safely and please adhere to the rules on meeting up with other households. If you are experiencing anti-social or dangerous use of fireworks, you should report this to us on the normal number or to Crimestoppers, which is 100 per cent anonymous. We will take a zero-tolerance approach to anyone misusing fireworks.

The clocks going back reminds us that winter is coming. Improving road safety is a priority and my officers will continue to carry out road and speed checks across the county. It is important that you all ensure your vehicles are prepared for winter driving. Some simple steps include: checking your lights are working; checking tyres for air and ensuring there is sufficient tread; ensuring you top up your windscreen washer and that you have a scraper in the car. Our social media pages will have links to more tips on safe driving.

Finally, I wanted to say a thank you to PCs Lynn Black and Allen Paul, who have moved on to new roles. Lynn, as my local authority liaison officer, has been instrumental in building and maintaining the fantastic relationships we have with East Lothian Council, and Allen, as preventions officer, has delivered a wide variety of training and prevention inputs.

I hope you all have a fun but safe Hallowe’en and Fireworks Night.