Increase in number of break-ins for the month of November

Housebreaking has been a major problem in the Capital. Picture (posed by model): Bill Henry

Housebreaking has been a major problem in the Capital. Picture (posed by model): Bill Henry

3
Have your say

HOUSEBREAKINGS have risen by four per cent for the month of November when compared with the same period last year.

Police are urging residents to keep their homes secure to avoid falling prey to thieves over the Christmas period.

The warning was issued by the Capital’s divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Mark Williams, after he noticed a spike in the number of incidents at the end of last week. Up to November 22 last year, there had been 1163 reports of break-ins to city homes from April 1. However as of Sunday night, there had been 1220 – a rise of 4.9 per cent.

Police chiefs are keen not to see a repeat of the housebreaking issue last year, which prompted the launch Operation RAC to crack down on spiralling numbers of thefts.

Ch Supt Williams said: “As a result of RAC we are still arresting lots of criminals. We have dedicated teams investigating, but my concern is last year at this time, we saw a huge upturn in the volume of housebreakings.

“While it’s not been mirrored this year, we have seen a slight rise again as we come into Christmas. I want all homeowners to think about security, to think about the simple prevention and advice. At this time of year people buy lots of gifts and presents, and we need to think about how you keep them secure and safe.”

The police boss was speaking to the News as the latest unaudited data for April-October this year was published by Police Scotland.

The overall statistics present an improving picture, with break-ins to all types of premises dropping from 2093 in the same period last year to 1865 this year. But a further breakdown reveals there were more than 200 more domestic homes targeted in the first two quarters of 2015-2016 – hiking from 765 to 979. However, the number of sheds, garages and huts broken into by thieves halved, dropping from 803 last year to 399.

The drop is believed to have stemmed from the “Stronger North” campaign to curb crime in north Edinburgh, where many outbuildings were broken into by thieves on the look-out for motorbikes.

And it emerged last night that between Sunday and Tuesday, would-be thieves have been foiled by two shed alarms in Merchiston and Braidburn.

The number of break-ins to all types of properties being solved by police is on the up, rising from 28.6 per cent last year to 33.2 per cent.

In April police put together a bizarre series of quirky scenes with Lego figures to spread the word about the importance of securing homes against burglaries.

The tableaux – featuring Lego men dressed as robbers and police officers – were accompanied by fun poems to highlight security tips.

Among the poems are: “Staying in or goin oot? Lock the windaes ‘n’ front door. A simple step maybe, That’ll prevent access tae them on the chore.” The posts were part of the Operation RAC drive.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com