Comment: Change of tack starting to yield results

today’s crime statistics will make welcome reading for Police Scotland top brass.

Thursday, 6th November 2014, 11:45 am

They are far from ideal of course, but evidence that housebreaking offences are dropping and that the number of burglaries solved is on the rise is certainly encouraging.

It seems the change of tack following the disastrous results when Police Scotland first came into being (with break-ins rising 40 per cent in a year and just one in five crimes being solved) is beginning to produce real results.

It will inevitably lead to a chorus of “we told you so” in the wake of the warnings over the force’s dismantling of the successful housebreaking teams in the east, and there is little doubt that this has been one of the failings of the new single force.

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Whether the protests worked or not, though, we have now got to a situation where the figures are heading back in the right direction.

The impact of housebreaking on the victim cannot be underestimated and is perhaps often too easily dismissed as simply “property crime”.

Yes lost possessions can be easily replaced but there is no insurance policy for the loss of feeling safe in your own home.

The effect, particularly on elderly victims, can be absolutely devastating and long-lasting.

We welcome the Police Scotland focus on tackling violent crime and domestic abuse but not at the expense of break-ins soaring and burglars left free to strike again and again.

The balance appears to have been addressed through a series of high-profile operations, for which the force deserves credit, and we look forward to that trend continuing in the future.

Let’s not pretend 60 per cent of break-ins going unsolved is anything to celebrate. There is a long way to go.

But it is at least a start in turning the tide and making us all feel a little bit safer.