Crime in Edinburgh up 11 per cent

Recorded crime in Edinburgh has soared by 11 per cent in a year.
Recorded crime in Edinburgh has soared by 11 per cent in a year.
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RECORDED crime in Edinburgh has soared by 11 per cent in a year, according to latest Scottish Government statistics.

The Capital saw the fourth highest rise in crime out of all 32 Scottish council areas and way above the national average of one per cent.

It also had the highest rate in the whole of Scotland for crimes of dishonesty, such as housebreaking and theft.

Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said there was growing evidence that cuts to local policing were “misguided” and that a failure to invest in the economy, create jobs and boost living standards was seeing more people turn to criminal activity.

Recorded crime in 2017/18 in Edinburgh was 33,080, up from 29,558 the previous year. Every category of crime saw an increase.

Mr Johnson said: “These figures show SNP cuts to local policing in Edinburgh are misguided. With thousands more crimes in Edinburgh this year, and more than half of crimes going unsolved, it is clear something is going seriously wrong. It is essential the SNP starts giving brave police officers the resources they need to keep people safe.

“Edinburgh has so many extra burdens on its officers including our city’s fantastic festivals and events all year round. It is time that Police Scotland recognised this by ensuring that Edinburgh gets its fair share of resources.”

But he said the answer was not just more and better policing. “This increase is also down to the government’s wider failure to invest in our economy, create jobs and tackle poverty.

“Many crimes are linked to deprivation – and we cannot deliver justice without also tackling social injustice and inequality. That is why we need to see a real commitment from the SNP to stop the cuts, not just to policing, but to lifeline services in communities across the country,” he said

Tory justice spokesman Liam Kerr said the statistics meant thousands more crimes. “What’s equally worrying is such a stark failure to solve and detect crimes. The police always do the best they can but the SNP simply have to resource them properly.”

Edinburgh divisional commander Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair said since the government crime statistics were collated, Edinburgh had seen significant success in both reducing recorded crime and increasing detection rates.

“Our year-to-date figures, as of the end of August 2018, show recorded crime for all categories has fallen almost 4 per cent in comparison to the previous year and is down 7.6 per cent on the five-year average. In relation to detection rates, we are currently sitting at 49.9 per cent, compared to 46.6 per cent last year, an improvement of 3.4 per cent.

“The communities of Edinburgh can rest assured that we remain committed to reducing crime further, while at the same time improving detection rates.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said Scotland’s streets were safer and less violent than a decade ago and he was focused on keeping crime low.

iswanson@edinburghnews.com