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 Service of 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 Lothian and Borders Fire 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.


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 below 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.