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Like the rest of the United Kingdom, Edinburgh and the Lothians operate three main emergency services. Under statute the Local Authorities and the government are required to fund them to an adequate level. They are of course the Police, Fire and the Ambulance service. The aptly named, Lothian and Borders Police cover Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders area. Alas this is now disbanded. The Police Scotland is now the national police force of Scotland. It was formed in 2013 with the merger of eight regional police forces, along with the specialist services of the Scottish Police Services Authority, including the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. Police Scotland is the second largest police force in the United Kingdom.

In a like manner the Scottish Fire and Rescue service cover the same area while the Scottish Ambulance Service covers the same area in emergency medical matters. Every where you are in the United Kingdom when a emergency arises you simply dial 999. The operator receiving the call will ask you which service you require and you will be connected to that service. It is free of charge and in most cases the Police will automatically attend.For instance if you are involved in a road traffic accident and require an ambulance the Police will attend as a matter of course. Be wary of the 999 system. It is for emergency only. It is a criminal offence in the United Kingdom to misuse this service.

In general matters find the telephone number of the service you require and the operator will keep you on the straight and narrow. For instance assume you have been for a game of golf, and you have left your golf clubs on the taxi that took you back to your hotel.It may be a emergency to you, but in the great scheme of things it is a minor matter. You will not be the flavour of the month if you tie up the 999 system in this circumstance. It is simple to overcome. No matter where you are in the area, the telephone number for the Police is 0131 311 3131. The operator will instruct you what to do. All the better if you know the number of the nearest Police Station.

Apart from general enquiry, matters relating to fire and medical incidents should be treated as a emergency. Your judgment of this would not be faulted if you make the call in good faith. As a visitor and not being a British National you would be required to pay for any medical treatment, so check your policy before you leave home. Regarding medical treatment see the link below which is a general guide. By the very nature of the policy, of free at the point of entry, and funding of the National Heath Service. It attracts health tourism by the bucket load. A very sore point to the UK tax payer.


Even to UK Nationals Dental Treatment in general is not free. There are certain circumstances in which it is free which I will not go into here as the target audience on this page is aimed at those who will more than likely have to pay. A UK national who is registered with a National Health Service Dentist (NHS) pays a fee set by the NHS. Those that are not have to pay private. Ensure your insurance covers emergency dental treatment. It can be expensive. Once again the link above gives general guide lines. Have a look and insure yourself accordingly

Under certain circumstance if you are involved in a Road Traffic Accident and it is your fault, you may be billed by the Fire and Ambulance Service if they are required to attend. If you are here with your own car check that this is included at risk under what ever policy you have taken out.

However all those services are emergency services and required by law. You may have arrived in Scotland by car or by camper van or indeed by a variety of transport. The United Kingdom has many break down services. Those range from the Automobile Association commonly known as the AA, to the Royal Automoble Club commonly known as the RAC. Both those associations will insure you in the event of a break down to get your vehicle back home. Or arrange for it to be taken to a garage of your choice. There are a few more motoring organisations in the United Kingdom. But those two are the main ones. Just click on the links for more detail.

What is not yet clear in terms of visitors to the United Kingdom. Is the effect of Brexit, and passports are required at all ports of entry. The effects in general are not yet known. The UK left the EU on the 31st January 2020. That has now come and gone That is something over the forthcoming years that the visitor to any part of the United Kingdom, will have to research himself. The transition period has also been devoured by history. The situation is very fluid, but it seems on entry to the UK.  You will equire a valid passport. What is very clear. The United Kingdom will still use the pound sterling. Scottish currency include banknotes that are issued by the various banks. That ranges from the Royal bank of Scotland to the Bank of England. You are advised to change any Scottish currency to Bank of England notes before you exit the UK. It will save problems in your home country.