Several arrests made in Easter crime crackdown

Police are investigating a spate of incidents.

Police are investigating a spate of incidents.

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A HAPLESS housebreaker was chased down by police and arrested after they found him clambering over someone’s garden fence.

The officers happened across the youth, who was later referred to the children’s reporter, during a routine patrol in Drylaw.

It was one of several arrests for officers in an Easter weekend crime blitz across the Capital.

Police were pounding the beat as part of Operation Soteria – relaunched this month to tackle motorbike theft and other crime.

“Motorcycle crime has been a significant issue in Edinburgh for a number of years, along with associated disorder,” said chief inspector James Jones.

“Besides the impact it causes people in the area and the disruption it causes in their lives, my key concern is the risk to life itself.”

Officers swooped to stop a car with no MOT in Drylaw at the end of last week to find the driver was disqualified.

A youth was then spotted close by who last month had sped off from officers on a stolen moped in Bughtlin.

At the start of the weekend, an 18-year-old was reported for failing to provide details required in relation to the driver of two cars.

Officers later realised the same teen was wanted for three housebreakings, before charging him for those as well.

Police tailed a suspicious car in Craigentinny before finding it abandoned. A dog handler helped find all four male occupants nearby.

The driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant and reported for various motoring offences. His companions were released pending further inquiries.

Police intervened after the owner of a motorbike around Leith Walk caught three youths stealing his vehicle. All three were cautioned and charged.

Eagle-eyed passers-by then helped officers find a German motorbike on Sunday which had been stolen the previous day.

The bike was found hidden in Drylaw and was sent away for forensic tests. Officers are still trying to trace the bike’s owner.

Officers thanked the public for reporting the bike being ridden around Edinburgh on Saturday and urged others to report anything suspicious.

After a successful first phase last summer, Operation Soteria was relaunched in partnership with the city council to target youths stealing bikes and joyriding.

“The theft of motorbikes and related offences has become a real problem in parts of Edinburgh and one that I know is a matter of great concern to the local community,” said council community safety leader Joan Griffiths.

“The success of exercises like Operation Soteria are a great step forward in tackling crimes like these,” she added.