By Philip Askew and Mariana Mercado
Police in Edinburgh have defended their response to last Saturday’s manhunt through the city centre, where more than 50 riot officers cordoned off part of Cockburn Steet.
Authorities were pursuing two alleged motorcycle thieves through Edinburgh’s Old Town aided by riot police, sniffer dogs and helicopters in what was described as a “mini war-zone” by Twitter users.
Amid accusations of overreacting, Superintendent Angus MacInnes has defended the heavy handed response, saying that they were “simply about ensuring safe and coordinated apprehension of the suspects” due to the “height and potential danger” involved.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland has emphasised that there were no firearms involved in the incident, saying it was “never a shooting” and that reports to the contrary were just “social media doing its thing”.
The two suspects ran away from police on patrol in Tron Square at 8pm when the chase started, according to a statement from the police. One man was detained and a stolen motorcycle was recovered nearby.
Riot police were brought out when an emergency call placed the second alleged perpetrator on the roof one of the buildings in Cockburn street.
Police are still searching for the other suspect, and the investigation is ongoing.