SHOPLIFTING has soared by 74 per cent in East Lothian, new crime figures have revealed.
A total of 429 such thefts were recorded between April and December last year compared with 247 in the same period the previous year.
But the detection rate for shoplifting also rose, to 68.1 per cent.
Police said they were working closely with staff at the targeted premises to give effective crime prevention advice, as well as encouraging co-operation between shops to prevent future thefts.
Total crimes in East Lothian were slightly up – from 2546 to 2632. There was a 15 per cent reduction in housebreaking – from 247 to 209 – though domestic break-ins were up from 91 to 100.
Serious crimes of violence also showed an overall reduction of 12 per cent, with serious assaults down from 24 to 15, though robberies remained the same at 12. All the assaults and all but one of the robberies were cleared up.
The number of recorded domestic abuse incidents fell by 106, from 780 to 674, a decrease of 13.6 per cent compared with the same period the previous year.
Allied to an overall reduction of 12 per cent in common assaults, a crime often associated with domestic abuse – from 548 to 484 – the police said it was testimony to the effective multi-agency effort to address a priority issue.
Although the number of reported rapes was down – from 24 to 17 – overall sexual crimes showed a slight increase on last year.
Police said East Lothian officers, supported by the Public Protection Units, Divisional Rape Investigation Unit and Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, were working hard to improve solvency rates and to ensure appropriate support for victims and their families.
There was a ten per cent rise in vehicle crime, mainly related to a spate of thefts of and from Transit vans, though the detection rate for vehicle crime is also up.
Police said officers had had significant success in targeting the priority areas of drug abuse and carrying of offensive weapons, with 51 more offenders having been dealt with for related crimes compared with last year, the number of offences detected of carrying of knives up from five to 26 and 47 more offenders being identified in relation to drugs offences.
Chief Inspector Matt Paden, area commander for East Lothian, said: “The ongoing commitment of my officers, our partners and the local community continues to pay dividends, as we work together to ensure East Lothian remains a pleasant and safe place to live. I would like to thank the public in East Lothian for the ongoing support they have shown.”