I WANTED to start this column by expressing my thanks to everyone who followed the Scottish Government’s guidance around Hallowe’en and fireworks.

The demand placed on my officers and, indeed, our partner agencies was lower than previous years, with no significant issues highlighted.

However, across our towns, we have seen small spikes in youth-related anti-social behaviour, in particular in Port Seton and Dunbar.

I want to reassure you that we are aware of these issues and working very hard to deal with this.

In Port Seton, I have dedicated officers every evening to solely deal with the disorder and I have national support from the Police Scotland reserve unit who are deploying alongside local officers.

I have an enquiry team looking into reported offences and, in the first week, six people have been charged with a variety of offences and 13 youths have had letters sent home to parents.

We will continue this work until we have dealt with the problem.

In Dunbar, particularly last weekend, we saw a re-emergence of youths drinking and causing anti-social behaviour.

My community policing team were out proactively dealing with this and, as a result, a number of youths were charged, with a further 15 identified who will be getting letters sent home to their parents.

Of note, my officers seized quite a lot of alcohol, which was destroyed. We have positive lines of enquiry in relation to adults buying these youths alcohol and always take a zero-tolerance approach to this.

Operation Juneau, our multi-agency operation to reduce substance misuse in East Lothian, continues apace.

We carried out further enforcement this week, with more people charged for drugs-related offences, and there is further planned activity in the coming days.

I have been really pleased with the action thus far, with 18 warrants enforced, 58 drugs charges libelled but, more importantly, 60 people referred to substance misuse services. Work has now begun to identify the membership of a new strategic drugs action taskforce, and the commitment and drive from our partners and elected members to support this has been really pleasing.

Planning for the festive period is almost complete.

This year will be different for everyone due to Covid and, although we have had some positive news with regards to a vaccine, I ask again that everyone continues to follow the guidance.

For those who reside with an abusive partner or family member, it can be dangerous and traumatic. If you suspect someone is suffering abuse, you can help: visit safelives.org.uk/reach-in