Crime’s down – and we’re also up for the cup parade

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh
Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh
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Despite the rather bleak weather we experienced at the start of May, I am reliably informed summer is almost upon us, and that means we are in the final stages of preparation for our annual policing campaign for the Edinburgh Festival.

Throughout the Festival, the ­population of the Capital doubles and it is essential that we have appropriate resources in place to keep the public safe and deter criminal activity during this time.

In the city centre you will see a high-visibilty police presence as we engage with the public to offer ­reassurance, prevent crime and deal with any issues that arise

We will also utilise our social media channels to deliver a range of useful crime prevention and personal safety messages, so please like our ­Edinburgh Police Division Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter @EdinburghPolice, to receive this advice.

Now that the Easter holidays are out of the way, we’ve had the chance to analyse some of our crime figures from April 1 to May 5 and compare them with the previous year.

I am delighted to say that violent crime is down by almost a quarter, in this time period, meaning we have seen 27 fewer crimes committed. We have an ongoing violence reduction strategy implemented within Edinburgh and while it is proving successful, we will not be complacent in our efforts to reduce these numbers further.

As you are all aware, housebreaking remains one of our top priorities in the Capital and we continue to see a downward trend in the number of break-ins occurring.

Our year to date figures show that domestic housebreakings are down by almost 50 per cent in comparison to April and May 2018. Business housebreakings are also down by 43 per cent during this time and, overall, acquisitve crime has fallen by more than 20 per cent. This means we’ve seen a reduction of 420 offences when compared to our 2018 statistics.

It’s also really positive to see that our detection rate for acquisitive crime is up six per cent and ­special mention must be given to our ­Community Investigation Unit and Search and Recovery Team, both of whom play a key role in bringing offenders to justice, and reuniting stolen property with its rightful owners.

We are currently in conversation with Heart of Midlothian FC and City of Edinburgh Council in relation to a potential victory parade, should they be successful in bringing the Scottish Cup back to the Capital. However, I’ve been assured by many of my Hibernian-supporting mates that such planning is not required . . . still, always best to be prepared!

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair is the Divisional Commander for Edinburgh.