LOTHIANS and Borders new Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Alwyn Bell says that he is ‘honoured’ to take over the role.

And he wants to assure residents that he will continue to dedicate resources to address the policing priorities for the region.

Mr Bell has 26-years policing service and has amassed considerable experience in a variety of roles.

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He began his career with Lothian and Borders Police in November 1996, where he worked in various parts of the city as a PC, including Leith, Drylaw, Portobello and Craigmillar.

He then moved into Edinburgh’s CID as part of the Housebreaking Unit, before being promoted to Sergeant in West Lothian in 2004.

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Moves to Crime Policy at the old Lothian and Borders Police HQ at Fettes followed along with a return to CID as part of the Public Protection Unit, where he served as a Detective Sergeant.

In 2009, he was promoted to Inspector, where he worked in Command Support at St Leonards and then within Edinburgh City Centre dealing with protests, demonstrations, night time economy etc and was trained as a Bronze Public Order Commander before being temporarily promoted to Chief Inspector for South of Edinburgh in 2013, based at Howdenhall.

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Shortly thereafter, his promotion was made permanent and he moved to the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan during Police Scotland transition before going back to Edinburgh as the Detective Chief Inspector for Edinburgh’s PPU in 2014.

His next move was to DCI for Edinburgh CID, before being promoted to Detective Supt for PPU in Glasgow in 2017.

In 2019, he was made Head of Rape, Sexual Crime and Human Trafficking based at Gartcosh before returning as Detective Supt for Lothians and Scottish Borders, where he served for two years.

In 2021 he returned to uniform as Support and Service Delivery Supt for Lothians and Scottish Borders and in late 2023 took over the role as T/Chief Supt and Divisional Commander for the division.

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Chief Superintendent Bell said: “It is a real honour to be the current Divisional Commander for Lothians and Scottish Borders Division, a region, which has had a very special place in my heart throughout the duration of my career.

“One of the things I have learned during my time in the Support and Service Delivery role is that the division has vastly different communities that require a vastly different policing response. I know for instance, that the needs of those who live within the Scottish Borders vary greatly from those within West Lothian and I want our policing approach to reflect this.

“In my short time as Divisional Commander I have met with a number of officers who operate within the Borders and I am extremely impressed by their commitment to serving their communities and the outstanding relationship they have built with key partners to help deter and divert criminal activity and support victims of crime with all the assistance they may require.

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“We recently published our performance data for the first quarter of 2023/24 and within the Borders, much like the rest of the country, crime has risen as we face increasing demand, amidst ever-tightening budgets and a reduction in the number of resources available across Police Scotland. This means that we must make hard choices to maintain effective policing within the funding available.

“With that in mind, we must have full and frank conversations with relevant partners about what we can and cannot support and encourage other agencies to lead on projects and responses that, historically, police would be the first port of call for.

“Nevertheless, I want to reassure everyone who lives, works and visits the Borders, that we continue to dedicate our resources accordingly to address the policing priorities for the region and the public can help shape these priorities by taking our Your Police survey, which is available on our website at www.scotland.police.uk.

“We have worked diligently to ensure that there has been no effect to frontline policing within the Borders, despite the challenges we face, and, much like when parts of the region hosted events for the UCI World Cycling Championships, we can call upon additional and specialist resources from across the Police Scotland cadre to support local policing teams.”