News stats show crime falling across Capital

Crime across the Capital as a whole is falling, according to new figures. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Crime across the Capital as a whole is falling, according to new figures. Picture: Ian Georgeson

CRIME is falling in police beats across the Capital, new figures obtained by the Evening News reveal.

Official beat by beat statistics released for the first time show reported offences at the lowest rate for five years in 54 of 59 areas. And one of Edinburgh’s top cops praised targeted police crackdowns and public awareness for the drop.

Housebreaking. Picture: John Devlin

Housebreaking. Picture: John Devlin

“The fall in crime we have seen in Edinburgh matches the national picture, where we have also seen crime reduce across Scotland as a whole,” said Supt Lesley Clark.

“It is a reflection of the city’s commitment as a whole to keeping those who live, work and visit safe.”

Today we publish overall crime figures by beat, with a breakdown of types of offences over coming days.

Reported crime was down 6.5 per cent across the whole of Edinburgh this year – nearly 13 per cent down on the five-year average.

The Capital’s three city centre beats, covering the New and Old Towns, saw the most crimes reported in 2016/2017. Top of the list is the New Town, driven by crimes including thefts.

Beats in residential areas including Southside/Newington, Leith, Craigmillar/Portobello, Forth and Sighthill/Gorgie make up the top ten.

The fewest crimes were reported in rural, commercial and suburban areas including beats in Pentland Hills, Colinton/Fairmilehead and Corstorphine/Murrayfield.

“Edinburgh is made up of diverse communities and the numbers swell particularly over the summer months when thousands visit for the festivals,” said Supt Clark.

“Naturally, different crime types will feature in these different areas, and the public and partners will raise varying concerns about what is happening in their communities.

“We will always listen to those concerns, assess levels and types of offences being committed and respond to tackle crime and prevent it from happening wherever possible.”

Numbers of reported crimes have dropped dramatically over five years in beats covering areas including West Pilton, The Shore in Leith and parts of Sighthill/Gorgie – though they all remain in the top ten.

“These areas have seen significant investment and regeneration over the period, alongside ongoing partnership working to improve the localities and tackle any issues which have arisen,” said Supt Clark.

One of only five beats to see an increase in reported crime this year was the Almond area which includes Edinburgh Airport – up more than a third on the five-year average.

Airport bosses pointed out passenger numbers grew by over three million during the same period – while crimes related to just 0.001 percent of passengers.

The 162 crimes reported at the airport this year were the fourth lowest of all city beats and are dominated by “acquisitive crime” including theft.

“The safety of our passengers and people using the airport is paramount and officers are highly visible within the terminal, regularly engaging with passengers,” said an airport spokesman.

“We proactively work in close partnership with Police Scotland to prevent crime and to ensure the safety of people at the airport.”

Other beats with numbers of reported crime last year above their five-year averages covered areas including Sighthill/Gorgie, Drum Brae/Gyle, Almond and Colinton/Fairmilehead.

Reported crime was up in the Old Town over the last year, as well as in a neighbouring beat in Southside/Newington.

“We have taken a proactive approach to policing in the city centre, with a number of operations which will have seen an increase in reporting,” said Supt Clark.

“Edinburgh remains one of the biggest tourist draws in the UK, and with more visitors inevitably comes more crime.”

The figures also reveal wildly varying crime detection rates from beat to beat – with less than 16 percent cleared-up in Drum Brae/Gyle, compared to nearly 75 percent in the Old Town.

Get crime prevention tips at www.scotland.police.uk

TOMORROW: Mapping housebreaking crimes across the city