Crime rate in Edinburgh drops 6.5% in last year

Crime in the city was down by over 6%. Picture: John Devlin
Crime in the city was down by over 6%. Picture: John Devlin
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CRIME rates in the Capital have dropped 6.5 per cent over the last year, new figures reveal.

The total number of offences in Edinburgh dropped from 31,616 in 2015/2016 to 29,558 in 2016/2017, official Police Scotland statistics show.

Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald credited the drop to the work of his officers and other agencies.

“The continued fall in crime in Edinburgh is testament to the hard work of officers and staff, our partners and our communities, joining together to help us drive down key offences like housebreaking, robbery, vehicle crime and vandalism,” he said.

Numbers of housebreakings dropped by more than a fifth, prompting Chief Superintendent MacDonald to suggest stern sentences are acting as a deterrent.

“The reduction in domestic housebreaking, the number one priority for the people of Edinburgh, is most welcome,” he said.

“With the support of the Crown and the courts, many prolific housebreakers have received significant sentences and criminals are beginning to understand that breaking into someone’s home may well lead to a lengthy prison sentence.”

There were also drops in violence, drugs and sex crimes, though a slight rise in the number of minor assaults to nearly 13,000 in the year.

Chief Superintendent Macdonald vowed officers will continue to work with clubs and bars in the city centre in a bid to tackle violent crime.

“We have concentrated our efforts on crime types that the public have told us are important to them, and areas where we need to keep the public safe,” said Chief Superintendent MacDonald.

“Whilst I am very pleased with these reductions we will continue to work tirelessly to drive them down even further.”

There was a near 20 per cent drop in motor vehicle thefts, including stolen motorbikes, which police targeted through Operation Soteria.

Drug dealing was down 17 per cent to 391 cases, while possession was down ten per cent to 1,569.

A police crackdown under the banner Operation Eagle has seen £750,000 worth of drugs seized in raids over recent weeks.

“Heading into the summer months we will also have extensive plans in place with partners to ensure that people who live in and visit Edinburgh for our festivals and many other events can enjoy them safely,” said Chief Superintendent MacDonald.