Richard Horan: Crime stats can be misleading

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I’ve been disappointed by recent misleading reports on public safety confidence levels, both in the north of the city and throughout Edinburgh, and I’m pleased to be able to provide some verified detail on crime and public perception in the city.

We regularly undertake user satisfaction surveys. The most recent statistics from February showed that 92.6 per cent of people were satisfied with the way they were treated by the officers who attended their incident, and over 70 per cent have confidence in the police.

I know that, on occasion, communities may feel as though the service we have provided falls short of their expectations, and it’s important we work to understand what more we can do.

Crime levels in Edinburgh are falling. Violent crime this year is 16 per cent lower than the five-year average and roughly 130 fewer people have avoided being victims of violent crime in north Edinburgh alone. We have also consistently driven down levels of antisocial behaviour.

Both local community improvement partnership and the #StrongerNorth initiative have identified and implemented many enhancements across the north area. These include the placement of an additional CCTV camera in Ferry Road Drive and plans for further cameras in the West Pilton Park area.

We have an officer co-located with the city council to share information and ensure abusive tenants and homeowners are subjected to appropriate sanctions in line with the law.

We have dedicated significant resource to target housebreaking and auto crime – detecting nine per cent more offences than we did last year and solving nearly one in three of all domestic housebreaking reported to us. Last month we arrested nine people for housebreaking in connection with over 59 crimes.

This week the Air Support Unit has been assisting us with a pre-planned auto crime operation and we received many worried tweets asking if some major incident had happened. The truth is this is Edinburgh’s police helicopter, just as much as it is Glasgow’s or Aberdeen’s. You shouldn’t be surprised when we use all available resources to keep you safe.

Local officers continue to attend community council and other meetings and will update you on local issues, crime trends and crime prevention advice.

I’d like to finish by reassuring you that every minute of every day, local officers are working to keep you safe. If you want further help or advice, contact us on 101 or via www.scotland.police.uk