Police set up 'grotto' in Edinburgh for festive period
A police "grotto" has been set up in Edinburgh to give officers a visible presence over the festive period.
Officers will be stationed at the hut which is based in St Andrew's Square until 7 January.
It will be open from 11:00 until 22:00 daily, except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. There will also be reduced opening hours on Christmas Eve and Hogmanay.
People will be able to report crimes or pick up crime prevention leaflets.
Operation Winter City will run until Saturday 7 January and over the coming weeks officers will issue messages to help people to stay safe at home, online, while out partying and when shopping.
The Edinburgh division has also created a special Countdown to Christmas calendar for social media, which launches on 1 December and stars eight-month old German Shepherd police dog Chase.
It will include a range of scenarios aimed at providing relevant safety advice during the festive season.
Supt Lesley Clark said: "This is an amazing city to live in and visit during the festive period and, for the first time we'll have a base within the centre of the celebrations.
"Unlike the other grottos within the city centre, however, we won't be selling gifts or refreshments.
"What we will be offering is really helpful information aimed at keeping people safe throughout their Christmas and New Year preparations and celebrations."
She added: "Being based at St Andrew Square allows us to be more visible in the areas that are likely to see an increased numbers of the public within the city and this festive operation will enable us to appropriately respond to the sort of incidents which typically arise at this time of year."