SECURITY cameras have been placed around the area where takeaway delivery driver Simon San was taunted and killed by a teenager.
Mr San, 40, died in August after being hit with a single blow to the face, which caused him to stumble backwards and crack his skull outside the Yong Hua Garden takeaway in Lochend Avenue, Edinburgh.
His killer, 16-year-old John Reid, was sentenced to five years’ detention last month at the High Court in Glasgow, where he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.
The new CCTV cameras have been combined with an increased police presence to deter antisocial behaviour, and local business owners say they have noticed a drop in groups of underage drinkers around the area.
Peter Swanson, manager of the Loch Inn pub next to the spot where Mr San lost his life, said: “It is definitely an encouraging start, but it should have happened years ago, not because of a death.
“Police are round here all the time and the kids are definitely deterred by the CCTV.
“We have to be strict and no-nonsense around here.
“I operate an over-25s only policy in my pub.
“If they’re not over 25 and I don’t know and trust them, they’re not coming in.
“As soon as I launched the policy, 95 per cent of my problems went away.
“There has been a 40 per cent decrease in the turnover, but I feel it’s worth it.
“There are about four off-licenses within 300 yards in this area and underage drinkers are always around them.
“It is ridiculous.”
One of the local shops has recently had its alcohol license suspended after it was caught on several occasions selling booze to underage youths.
Prevention of crime
A spokeswoman from the City of Edinburgh Council confirmed that Mohammed Anwar, who owns Anwar Newsagents, has been banned from selling alcohol until at least 26 December.
She said the decision was made on public safety grounds to ensure the “protection of children and the prevention of crime”.
One resident, who asked not to be named for fear of being attacked, said: “Calling it ‘hell on earth’ doesn’t really cover it.
“There are always thuggish types hanging out on street corners, at the park and outside the off-licenses.
“They shout at passers-by and have thrown stones.
“I have seen them size-up to people and blow cannabis smoke in their faces.
“However, it is slowly getting better now.
“They are especially bad if they’re drinking, so for a local off-license, which is no doubt aware of all the trouble around here, to sell them booze is pretty awful.
“The owner needs to learn a serious lesson.”
‘People feel safer now’
Former city council leader, Councillor Ewan Aitken said the cameras had been met with encouragement by local people.
He said: “There has been such a positive response by local residents.
“It’s sad that it’s taken something like this for the council to respond, but at least people feel safer now.
“They’re willing to go out at night now.”
Mr San’s family have claimed that Lothian and Borders Police force failed to respond to calls about threatening youths prior to the tragedy.
A police spokeswoman said: “We’re working with partners and locals in the Lochend area in order to continue to address community concerns.
“We have increased joint patrols with the City of Edinburgh Council in the area, and will continue to work alongside residents in support of our community commitment, through out Safer Neighbourhood Teams.”
REPORT: Christine Lavelle