The police officers creep quickly up the dingy stairwell, in their balaclavas, helmets and full body armour.
As they arrive at the front door of the tiny flat, they pause in complete silence, making final checks before carrying out the task at hand.
There is certainly tension, and also a surreal moment, as around 20 officers, including a group from Fettes’ specialised support unit, wait without a sound in the darkness.
Like the build-up to an Olympic 100m final, the suspense is followed by an act that takes mere seconds. The serenity of the block of flats is ended by the smash of a battering ram crashing through the front door.
Milliseconds later, they charge in, screaming at the occupants in order to make them comply. It must be a truly terrifying experience to be on the end of.
Uniformed officers follow, and then the dog handlers, but the specialised unit move out as fast as they entered for round two of the operation.
Ten minutes later, and the same scenario confronts the policemen and women. Once more, they are standing in a flat stairwell, inches from someone’s home, ready to become the most unwanted of guests.
This time there is not the need for the use of a battering ram, as they force their way through the door. There are shouts and sounds from inside that suggest resistance has been put up, but moments later they emerge unscathed, ready to make their third wake-up call of the morning.
Up the stone staircase they silently march, like an army unit behind enemy lines. Adrenaline now pumping, deep breaths are inhaled, before the now familiar swing of the ram, collapse of the door and rush of the specialist officers.
With those inside the flats being questioned, and a dog in each home, it is job done – and all completed in just 20 minutes.