I start my column this month by acknowledging the ongoing issues residents within the Pilton and Drylaw areas have been experiencing in relation to youth-related disorder and antisocial behaviour, which includes vandalism and a steadily increasing number of incidents involving motorcycles being used recklessly on roads and paths in the area.
More significant was the recent assault and robbery of a private hire driver in Pilton around 6.55pm on Sunday,which we are treating as being racially motivated. We will not tolerate such victimisation and this cowardly act, committed by a group against someone trying to go about their own business, is being investigated rigorously.
Please rest assured that we in the Northwest area are fully committed to preventing and where possible reporting those responsible for this unacceptable behaviour, which blights the lives of too many and we have been carrying out extensive work to find an appropriate and effective long-term solution.
For example, the creation of the new Family and Household Support Teams in cooperation with City of Edinburgh Council helps us better target our resources to key community issues.
Our year-to-date analysis shows antisocial behaviour offences have fallen by over 6.5 per cent. However, we refuse to become complacent and will continue our efforts to reduce these incidents further. Last year we launched the motorcycle initiative Operation Soteria and activity as part of this campaign will continue as we maintain our stance that tackling the theft and criminal use of any vehicle is one of our top priorities.
Our communities can take heart from the notable successes we have already observed as part of Op Soteria with multiple arrests of the key offenders throughout the year and efforts to replicate and enhance the broad range of tactics aimed at disrupting and detecting the offenders is already well under way for 2017.
Although the problem remains a considerable challenge and key priority I have been encouraged by the welcome reduction in housebreaking incidents this year, thanks largely to the ongoing dedication and cooperation of officers as part of the continuing Operation RAC initiative.
Since February 2016 crimes of this nature have fallen by around 7.3 per cent, which equates to 42 fewer victims and my aim is always to seek further improvements upon this outcome.
Part of the success can be attributed to the application of effective prevention measures, which are essential to discouraging housebreakers from first targeting property or overcoming the security, and lots of useful information on safeguarding your property can be obtained on our website www.scotland.pnn.police.uk.
Chief Inspector Jimmy Jones is Local Area Commander for North West Edinburgh