Mark Williams: Criminal to ignore police successes

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This week, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland released their report into policing in Edinburgh and outlined a number of key areas of improvement for Police Scotland.

I welcome these findings and want to assure our communities that we’ve already made some really important headway in addressing a number of issues raised in the report.

Tackling housebreaking has been our top priority for some time now and as a result of the relaunch of Operation RAC earlier this year, we have halved the number of break-ins per month and doubled our detection rates.

Violent crimes have also fallen by more than 18 per cent against the five-year average, while robberies are also down by almost 30 per cent.

Your local policing teams have been working really hard to reduce all forms of theft and reports have fallen by 12 per cent against the five-year average, with motor vehicle thefts down over 26 per cent in the last year alone.

What the HMICS report also highlighted was some of the great and innovative work my officers have carried out to keep the public safe and address the local priorities the public helped us set through out local policing plans.

We are not complacent and will continue to utilise the resources at our disposal to keep Edinburgh a safe place in which to live, work and visit.

As part of our ongoing commitment to tackling metal theft we recently joined forces with a number of agencies, including our colleagues at British Transport Police to target criminals across the city.

At the start of this week, officers stopped dozens of vehicles in the Seafield area as part of Operation Scandium and spoke with scrap metal dealers and traders to remind them of their licensing responsibilities. This activity will continue in the weeks ahead as I want to make it clear that Edinburgh will be no safe haven for those involved in offences of this nature.

We are now quickly approaching winter and this weekend the clocks will go back, giving us all an extra hour in bed.

But with longer evenings ahead of us, it is important that you remember to take some simple security measures to keep yourselves safe.

If you are heading out for the evening, remember to secure all doors and windows and keep your home appropriately lit so as not to give criminals the opportunity to target it in darkness. Light-timers and motion activated external lighting are really good options to consider and helpful advice on safeguarding your 
property is available on our website at www.scotland.police.uk.

Chief Superintendent Mark Williams is Police Scotland’s divisonal commander for Edinburgh