Crime writer vows to “hunt down” arson yobs

By Paul Thornton

SCOTS crime writer Ian Rankin has vowed to track down yobs who torched FIVE wheelie bins outside his home.

Rankin, 49, found the blazing bins in his street in the Merchiston area of Edinburgh on Wednesday morning.

Police have described the act as “mindless vandalism” and are appealing for witnesses.

But Rankin – whose Rebus detective novels have made him a household name – has decided to put his own crime fighting skills to the test.

In a tongue in cheek tweet following the incident Rankin said he was looking for someone with “v long legs” because of the gaps between burnt bins.

He also warns the vandals “we will hunt you”.

Continue reading

Scots Police slam mobile phone drivers with £1.2m fines during 2009

By Oliver Farrimond

CHATTY drivers in Scotland have had to pay up almost £1.2 million this year for using their mobiles while driving.

Scotland’s police forces issued nearly 20,000 statutory notices to careless road users, worth £60 each.

The figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show that police in Strathclyde issued by far the most – including two to their own officers.

However Andrew Howard, head of road safety at AA, said that more should be done to catch careless drivers.

He said: “When you consider that there are millions of drivers in Scotland, and millions of mobile phone users, it’s clear that these fines represent only a fraction of those actually committing the offence.

“Using your phone whilst driving is more than just a distraction – you can lose your peripheral vision, and drivers prosecuted following fatal accidents for mobile phone use can end up in jail. Continue reading

Firefighters battle blaze in snowy Edinburgh

By Oliver Farrimond

FIREFIGHTERS battled a fierce winter blaze in Edinburgh on Wednesday night.

Five fire engines were called to a first floor flat engulfed in flames at Melgund Terrace in the Capital, and fought the blaze for more than an hour.

A man was rescued from the flat by firefighters, who carried him to be treated for severe smoke inhalation.

He was later taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment.

Lothian and Borders Fire Service confirmed that two more residents in the building fled to safety on emergency ladders.

They added that the cause of the blaze was unknown.

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