Public Services in Edinburgh

Emergency services in Edinburgh

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For general emergency, call

999 (free call from any phone including pay phones)
112 is the emergency number for mainland Europe and can also be used in the UK.

For advice on non-emergency medical problems, there is a 24-hour service line at 08454 242424.


Edinburgh, and Scotland in general, are considered safe destinations. Scots are friendly and welcoming people. As in any major city visitors must always use common sense. Scotland actually has a higher rate of violent crime than in England or Wales. Petty theft remains lower than many other European countries.

There are few areas to avoid, but you may want to avoid some suburbs unless you are with someone familiar.

  • Niddrie and Craigmillar in the southeast of the city
  • Sighthill and Wester Hailes in the west
  • Muirhouse and Pilton in the north

Sports events can inspire drunken violence. In Glasgow, Rangers v Celtic derby days occur 4 times each season and can arouse tension throughout the city. On these days people should avoid wearing club colors (blue or green). The subway can be extremely crowded and create uncomfortable situations. However, reasonable behavior should prevent any issues.

Natural Precautions

Tap water in Scotland is safe to drink, if sometimes heavily chlorinated.

If venturing out into the country, take along:

  • Compass
  • Detailed maps
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Torch (flashlight)
  • Adequate shoe ware
  • Charged mobile phone (ANY phone is capable of making a 999 or 112 emergency call if there is a signal available)
The weather can change swiftly and fog can set in suddenly. Advice is available from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

An insect known as a midge can be extremely annoying. They are small biting insects and prevalent in damp areas. They are worst around May to September and are - luckily- not disease carriers, but the bites are itchy.

Update 8/04/2011

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