Comment: A break-in is a traumatic experience

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News that half of all housebreakings in Edinburgh have been solved this year is a real credit to Police Scotland.

The force has come in for a lot of stick, not least from us, over the apparent change in priorities since it came into being last April.

We have consistently highlighted the problem after the number of solved break-ins fell to as low as just 17 per cent, amid fears that local knowledge was being sacrificed for national priorities.

The force responded with Operation RAC and whichever way you look at it, it does appear to be getting real results.

An impressive 51 per cent of cases have been cleared-up in the last six weeks.

Of course solving a crime is one thing, and preventing a repeat is something else.

The police may have been doing their bit, but the punishment and/or rehabilitation must also be appropriate to avoid the offender simply returning to their old ways as soon as they are free.

Only this week, we highlighted the problem of a teen housebreaking gang on the rampage in Newington – having been arrested and then simply released because of their ages.

It may be seen as a victimless crime as most people will be covered by insurance, but in truth finding out your house has been broken into can be one of the most traumatic experiences imaginable.

Long-term psychological damage can be caused as victims, especially the elderly, may no longer feel safe in their own homes which is a real tragedy.

So, a gold star to Police Scotland today for tackling the identified problem and we look forward to watching the solvency rate continuing to soar.

Let’s now concentrate on ensuring the justice system is up to the task and willing to hand out heavy sentences to those responsible.

That will surely be the most effective tool in bringing down housebreakings across the city.