Mark Williams: 40 per cent drop in house break-ins

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THERE is so much happening across the Capital at this time of year it is always challenging to capture it in a few short paragraphs!

I thought I would start by reflecting on the success of two recent events.

First, I want to thank the general public for the way they greeted the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay into the city. It was a fantastic family atmosphere and there is no doubt it showcased the best that Edinburgh has to offer.

Police Scotland had been working with partners for many weeks to ensure its safe and speedy journey through the streets of the Capital and credit is due to all those who made it possible.

Second, I wanted to thank all those involved with running this year’s Royal Highland Show. Over 175,000 people attended and in the showground my officers were offering advice on wildlife crime, road safety and other crime prevention matters including the threat posed by ATM card skimming devices.

Unfortunately we still find members of the public being tricked and duped by such devices – in fact two were discovered recently on Hanover Street - so remember to check any machine before using it and report any suspicions immediately.

Across the city Police Scotland Youth Volunteers have been out assisting the public and playing a crucial part in keeping people safe at big events. The young people involved graduated recently and are now fully fledged members of the team. You may have seen them at the Royal Highland Show but if not you might catch a glimpse during Royal Week or as part of our policing operation for the Commonwealth Games. Good luck to them all – they are fantastic ambassadors for the city and their communities – be sure to say hello if you see them out and about!

The weather has been pretty good over the past few weeks so it’s the perfect time for me to remind you all to take care of personal belongings and valuables in the summer heat. Don’t leave car and house windows open when you are away from them as criminals can take the opportunity to slip in – don’t give would-be thieves an easy chance! My officers are working hard to target these offenders but it would be a great help if everyone took personal responsibility for their belongings and made it harder for them.

Finally, and in line with my comments above I wanted to update you on our performance around house break-ins – a crime that I know is deeply distressing to anyone affected. From April 1 this year until the end of May, it has reduced by 40 per cent compared to the corres-ponding period last year. This is a fantastic reduction and one that we are committed to keeping!