Comment: We can all help to keep homes safer

File picture: Ian Georgeson
File picture: Ian Georgeson
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HOUSEBREAKING is a crime where the greater loss can often be not the valuables stolen but the violation of our sense of being safe and secure in our own home. It is particularly distressing for older people and those with infirmities who feel especially vulnerable.

But there is news of some reassurance for residents in Edinburgh. Housebreakings in the Capital have fallen by a fifth in the past year.

Several factors account for the improvement: Operation RAC, a major police crackdown on crooks was relaunched in April 2015. The city re-established its housebreaking teams after solved cases plummeted under the single police force.

And greater care and vigilance by the public in making their properties more secure has also helped.

Police leaders say that as well as catching over half of one organised crime group behind many of city’s housebreakings over the past few years, the public is making more of an effort to make homes and businesses more break-in proof.

Small points of attention can make a big difference. The obvious ones are keeping curtains closed to screen valuables from view and not leaving house keys in locks. These were two examples that the police highlighted in a series of crime prevention meetings across the city.

And now, with the onset of summer, residents should be especially mindful of leaving doors and windows ajar while they are outside tending their gardens.

Tighter vigilance on the part of the police has contributed, particularly in reducing night crime. There has been a significant reduction in the number of housebreakings happening overnight by police checking to ensure that bail conditions such as curfews are enforced.

The motto remains as ever: be vigilant.