Drop in housebreakings but rise in robberies, latest Edinburgh crime figures show

Cyber crime also on the rise according to Police Scotland statistics

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 1:47 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th November 2019, 1:59 pm
Car crime has also dropped

CRACK teams of detectives have been credited for a dramatic drop in housebreakings and vehicle crime across the Capital.

Latest Police Scotland figures reveal housebreakings down a quarter (25 percent) from 641 to 479 between April and September compared to the same period last year.

Motor vehicle crime driven by motorbike thefts was down nearly a fifth (19 percent) from 1,455 to 1,181 over the same period.

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Supt Mark Rennie

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"We know we can’t just arrest our way out of the problem”

"Our Community Investigation Unit deal with all reports of domestic housebreaking across the city.

Over the last few years they have developed a significant amount of expertise in how to investigate the thefts and also target the local recidivist offenders who commit the crime.”

Supt Rennie also hailed crime prevention work and pairing offenders with mentors in helping slash the number of break-ins.

"We know we can’t just arrest our way out of the problem,” he added.

On the drop in car theft, Supt Rennie said: “Stolen cars can often be used by criminals to commit other crimes, so it is essential that we reduce the number in circulation on our streets.”

Crime reports overall were up slightly from 16,070 to 16,128 while detection rates were also up from 5,808 to 6,293.

Numbers of robberies were up ten percent from 142 to 156 - equivalent to one nearly every day.

"keep your valuable possessions stored out of view"

"This is an extremely frightening crime to experience,” said Supt Rennie, crediting the work of Operation Arable in investigating the cases.

“ At times in a vibrant and busy city which receives a lot of visitors and tourists, it can be a real challenge to identify a culprit so I’m always amazed to see their ability to seek out and arrest those responsible.

“Thankfully, excellent CCTV coverage in the city helps with that and our circulations across news and police social media channels often result in identifications with the help of the public.”

Supt Rennie said the rise in robberies in driven by crimes where the victims and culprits know each other.

“Our advice to the public is always to keep your valuable possessions stored out of view when walking outdoors and always being mindful of your personal surroundings and any suspicious activity taking place,” he added.

A recent rising trend in online cyber crime continued with threats and extortion up more than a third (35 per cent) though numbers are still low - from 30 to 41 reports.

Sexual assaults were up nearly a third (30 percent) from 233 to 302 but the number of reported rapes were down - 106 to 88.

Edinburgh’s top cop, chief superintendent Sean Scott, blamed a previous rise in sex assaults on booze-fuelled groping in the Capital’s bars and nightclubs.

Officers have launched a ‘don’t be a bystander’ call urging anyone who witnesses a sexual assault to report it to police.

"Tackling drug crime is an important priority"

Indecent communications - previously blamed on sexting between youths - continues to rise with reports up nearly a quarter (24 percent) from 58 to 72.

Raids following tip offs from the public saw reports of drug dealing up nearly a quarter (23 percent) from 235 to 288, including 25 cases at prison.

"Tackling drug crime is an important priority for the division,” said Supt Rennie. “Throughout this year we have ensured there is a continued focus on dealers who can be the scourge of local communities.

“We will always look to act on information provided by the public in respect of drug dealing and by collating intelligence from local residents we have been able to dismantle several drugs gangs operating in the city in recent months.

“We don’t just look at enforcement though and when dealing with those suffering from drug addiction who have found themselves involved in linked criminality we will always look to involve health partners to support them to manage their addiction.”

Cases of criminal found carrying weapons, including knives, were up a small amount from 376 to 385.

Serious assaults were down 13 percent from 210 to 182 while common assaults, including on emergency workers, were up slightly from 1,916 to 1,953.

Driving offences, including speeding, saw a small fall from 4,755 to 4,697.