Police Scotland have acknowledged today that there has been a huge rise in housebreaking in the city. A whopping 40% up year on year in fact.
A special operation to combat the rise in this type of crime has now been launched. It would seem that people with sheds and garages have been a particular target, in North Edinburgh as much as anywhere else.
Couple of homes and shed broken into in Trinity area last night – we'll be patrolling, if you see anyone suspicious please phone us at time
— EdinburghNorthPolice (@EdinNorthPolice) December 17, 2013
Commenting on the new initiative, Edinburgh based, Detective Inspector John Kavanagh, who is leading the local operation to tackle the rise in Housebreaking said: “We recognise that the rise in housebreaking offences, particularly from sheds, garages and outbuildings, is a concern for a number of our communities and we are carrying out targeted action to address this matter as part of our commitment to keeping people safe.
“Dedicated teams of officers are actively investigating a number of offences reported within the Capital and every day we are making more and more arrests and recovering property so it can be reunited with its rightful owners.”
“Our communities have identified housebreaking as a local priority and we will use all resources at our disposal to tackle the issue and bring offenders to justice.”
You can find Police advice on how to secure your home here.
Although stats for other categories of crime have not been released for this year yet, the City of Edinburgh Council have recently released crime statistics for the last four full financial years which are broken down to Neighbourhood Partnership level. This helps to put the recent rise in some sort of context.
Here are the crime stats for the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership area, which combines the Leith and Leith Walk wards.
Sadly, the historic data doesn’t break down specifically to housebreaking, but it does show that “Crimes of Dishonesty” – which presumably takes in more than housebreaking – have been on a steady downward trend in the Leith area – at least until April 2013. There were 1455 crimes of dishonesty recorded in the Leith area in 2009/10, which by 2012/13 had dropped to 1357. Indeed, looking at all recorded crimes, this dropped by almost a fifth in the same timeframe.
Both sexual and violent crimes rose during the period, which is grim, but it’s worth noting that these types of crime still make up a tiny proportion of all the recorded crimes in the area.
Violent crimes may be relatively rare, but this week Police have appealed for witnesses who may have information about a serious assault which took place outside the Volunteer Arms on Leith Walk last Saturday. You can read the Police press release here.
If you have any information about the Volunteer Arms assault, or indeed people who may be responsible for housebreaking you can call 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries, or in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Photo credit: Alun Ward