Housebreakings plummet but Edinburgh police chief warns public to keep sheds and outbuildings secure as break-ins rise during lockdown

Housebreaking offences have plummeted in Edinburgh but the city's highest ranked police officer is warning the public to stay alert following a rise in break-ins to sheds and outbuildings during the lockdown.

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th May 2020, 6:12 pm

Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh, says more people staying at home is a factor in the year-on-year decrease but stressed more work has

also been done to investigate and prevent housebreakings across the city.

The number of recorded housebreaking offences has decreased by 484 (18 per cent) and the detection rate - the proportion of crimes solved by police - has also risen slightly.

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Housebreaking incidents have dropped by 18 per cent in Edinburgh year-on-year.

Chief Sup Scott said: "I am really delighted there's been significantly fewer victims of housebreakings and the solvency has gone up.

"Because people are at home, the number of domestic housebreakings has plummeted but (break-ins to) sheds and outhouses have increased, so we have to work hard to get the message out there about shed security."

The latest figures for the Capital come as part of Police Scotland's Performance Report, which includes data from April 1st 2019 to March 31st this year.

As well as a reduction in housebreakings, year-on-year shoplifting has also decreased by 783 incidents, a decrease of 16 per cent.

There has also been a decrease in violent crime, with 77 fewer serious assaults (18 per cent reduction), five fewer attempted murders (19 per cent reduction) and five murders compared to six in the previous year.

Antisocial behaviour – including noise complaints and vandalism – also continues to fall in Edinburgh, with 1,383 fewer incidents than the previous year.

The report says there have also been 80 fewer motor vehicle crimes on Edinburgh's roads, a reduction of just over three per cent.

The number of road casualties in the division also fell from 936 to 779 – a decrease of 153 incidents. Similarly, the number of fatalities has reduced from seven to three.

Chief Sup Scott added: "Dangerous driving offences have gone up recently because there are far fewer cars on the road and people are starting to speed, but we have caught more people speeding."