Burgled family wait two days for police forensics

Sofia Shahed in her ransacked bedroom. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Sofia Shahed in her ransacked bedroom. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A TERRIFIED family whose house was ransacked by thieves was forced to wait nearly two days for forensic teams to investigate the crime.

Muslim Mohammed Shahed, 35, returned from evening prayers on Sunday to find his home had been torn apart by yobs who escaped with a haul of jewellery worth around £8000.

The thugs even pillaged the bedrooms of three small ­children before leaving the bizarre calling card “YLT” – which stands for Young Leith Team – carved into the walls.

Three sharp knives were also left precariously balanced on a carrot in the living room of the house in North Fort Street.

But concerns have been raised over delays to the ­forensic response team amid fears housebreakings have slipped down the pecking of police priorities.

It comes as at least two other homes belonging to Muslims were ­targeted during extended evening prayers for Ramadan.

Today, father-of-three Mr Shahed told how his children had been scarred by the destructive raid that took place at around midnight on Sunday, and were “petrified” to return to their home.

“My wife hasn’t stopped ­crying because we’ve lost nearly everything and my ­family don’t feel safe in their own home,” he said.

“My five-year-old daughter is almost too scared to come in, she stood outside crying and thinks the men are going to come back. We have moved back in now after two days waiting for investigations to take place but I will be constantly on the lookout.”

The News previously told how the number of burglars caught in the Capital plummeted after a radical overhaul of break-in investigations and the disbandment of the city’s housebreaking teams since the move to a single police force.

A former senior police officer described forensic teams as “incredibly tardy” in their response to the Shahed family. 
The response time is totally unacceptable,” he said. “In all crime there’s the golden 24 hours where you have the best change of solving it. Forensic samples are still to be had which don’t get better after leaving them for days.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Police Authority, which oversees forensic teams, said they were examining the case.

“If we identify any concerns over the time taken for a scene examiner to attend this scene we will take appropriate action,” she said.