Break-ins and robberies remain top priorities for 2019 – Ch Supt Gareth Blair

As this is my first column of 2019, I firstly hope that everyone had a wonderful and safe New Year, however you chose to celebrate it.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 5:00 am
Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Many of you will be aware, from having attended the Hogmanay Street Party, that we had a large number of officers based within the city centre that evening to keep the public safe and address any issues that arose. Our deployment model for Hogmanay was based on extensive dialogue with relevant partners and I thank all agencies involved for their efforts in what was a successful and predominantly peaceful end to 2018.

Looking ahead, this year will be much of the same aHous last year in terms of our continued commitment to working alongside relevant partners to tackle issues such as housebreaking, acquisitive crime, violence and to promote road safety.

Our dedicated Housebreaking Unit, which was established in 2018, is responsible for investigating all housebreaking offences in Edinburgh and has already had great success in bringing offenders to justice and reuniting victims with their stolen property. I want to reassure our communities that housebreaking remains one of our top priorities and we will continue to investigate these crimes with the utmost seriousness, utilising all relevant resources at our disposal.

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The public have a vital role to play in preventing housebreaking by taking appropriate security measures with their homes, outbuildings, business and vehicles. A range of useful advice is available on our websites at

Reducing incidents of acquisitive crime is another local priority in the Capital and towards the end of last year, we relaunched Operation Arable to tackle crimes such as theft and robbery. Operation Arable has already had a number of successful arrests, including a group of youths for robbing an elderly woman of her handbag in Gilmerton, as well as bringing two men into custody for recent robberies in Restalrig and Meadowbank.

We have a variety of police resources at our disposal that we can and will use as part of Operation Arable and acquisitive crime offenders should be left in no doubt that they will be arrested and charged should they be found to be involved in such offences.

The priorities we address are based on our continued engagement with local communities and elected members and these are always subject to change, based on what the public tell us.

As always, we welcome comments from those who live and work within Edinburgh as to what we can do to make their city safer

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh