New crime stats show huge drop in number of motorbike thefts

Putting antisocial behaviour and motorbike thefts at the top of the agenda has paid off, said the city’s top cop as new figures reveal an overall drop in reported crime.

The quarterly report, which compares statistics on crime levels across Edinburgh from April-June this year compared to the same period last year, shows targeted operations across the city have had a significant impact.

Chief Super Gareth Blair. Picture: Greg Macvean

Chief Super Gareth Blair. Picture: Greg Macvean

There has been a 64 per cent drop in motorbike thefts, with antisocial behaviour linked to the theft of motorcycles down 40 per cent.

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair said the “massive success story” is testament to quality community partnerships and good policing, as well as local authority funding, that has helped drive the change.

Up until June, the number of crimes reported was down by 0.3 per cent and Chief Supt Blair said that downward trend has continued into July and August with a 6.2 per cent drop, around 800 less crimes.

A targeted plan was also put in place to tackle robberies - up 14.3 percent on last year and Chief Supt Blair said since June they have seen a marked difference.

“As of August 20 robberies are now down 0.9 per cent. The plan includes a whole range of measures such as intelligence, enforcement and prevention. We use the information to tell us where robberies are taking place and uniformed officers or plain clothes officers target the areas.

“Where appropriate we have implemented prevention such as media releases to give awareness to the public and target areas with CCTV.

“Our whole response is really, really robust and that is resulting in turning around the number of robberies.”

A spate of car break-ins across swathes of the city has seen a significant spike in the figures of motor vehicle crime.

Up considerably from last year – 128 per cent – Chief Supt Blair said the force is working on tackling the problem but admitted priorities would remain focussed on antisocial behaviour and housebreakings.

He added: “It is not fed back to us as a priority for the community.

“We want to focus on housebreakings because we know it is a priority, and if you move resources from that to something else it will have an impact but we have got a plan around that.

“From August 20 vehicle break-ins are down to 104 per cent so going in the right direction.

“What’s important as well is we’ve almost doubled our solvency around it.

“We are aware of it but it will not take the same level of priority as antisocial behaviour, theft of motor vehicles, or housebreakings – it’s going in the right direction.”

Since last year, 145 fewer houses have been broken into and 185 fewer business premises or sheds, which Chief Supt Blair said is a positive place to be in but maintained does not leave room for complacency.