I'm translating an English travel guide of Edinburgh and having some questions over a sentence. Here's the context: "A few steps downhill, at #188 (on the right), is the Police Information Center. This place provides a pleasant police presence (say that three times) and a little local law-and-order history to boot."

My questions is, does "a pleasant police presence" here mean "adequate police personnel"?

  • 1
    Are you sure it's not a Scottish travel guide? Dec 22, 2020 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


It is a joke, understandable to most Scots and a lot of UK people. Traditionally British police used a number of tests to see if a person was drunk (e.g. walk a straight line, touch their nose with their eyes shut, etc). One of these is to say "The Leith Police dismisseth us" a number of times without slurring any words. Leith is the port district of Edinburgh. "A pleasant police presence" is similar to the old police test. That's the joke. I would not bother translating it. I suggest translating "This place provides some local law-and-order history."

Note that in the UK, we spell 'Centre' like this. As 'Police Information Centre' is a proper noun it should be spelt so. Also we don't usually write numbers with a hash sign ('#').

  • While the question may not be legit (seems lifted from here by an imposter in a case of mass fraud), this is a really good answer. Too good to delete. +1
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 22, 2020 at 19:14

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