Mark Williams: Work to beat rising number of housebreakings

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This week, I want to update you on how our division has been performing overall.

We are approaching the end of our performance year and, looking back, it is marked by particular successes and particular challenges for the Edinburgh Division of Police Scotland. In addition to the great work carried out across the city by police officers and staff, I want to reassure you that we are addressing these problems and to highlight how you can help us to help you.

Breaking into homes or sheds is a particularly personal crime that causes great distress to those affected. Unfortunately, over the last year the incidence of this type of crime has gone up across the city.

This is unacceptable and, over recent months, as part of Operation RAC, we have been focusing our efforts at catching those responsible. However, since we started Operation RAC we have seen some huge reductions in this type of crime. For example, in the east of the city it is down 29 per cent over the last 15 weeks and in the north it is down ten per cent over the same period.

That said, it is likely our end-of-year figures will show an overall increase in thefts and other such crimes. With that in mind, I have set up new teams to tackle housebreakers and thieves. I can promise you that we will be committing significant resources to addressing these issues. To help us, I would ask you all to protect your valuables and look after your belongings and houses. Don’t make it easy for thieves. If you want more information then take a look at our divisional YouTube channel, where you can get prevention advice.

In other priority areas such as tackling domestic abuse, rape and other sexual offences, we have seen some fantastic results. Rape detection has gone up by 27 per cent on last year and solving broader sexual offences is up by 11 per cent. Our commitment to targeting sexual offenders will continue and I would draw your attention to our latest rape prevention campaign, We Can Stop It.

You’ll find it on the Edinburgh Division Facebook account or on the Police Scotland website or hear us talking about it on Twitter.

Preventing crime is at the heart of all we do, and my staff and I work very closely with the council and other agencies to keep people safe. It’s really important that you also do all you can to keep safe and secure as together we can make a huge impact on crime and criminals. Crime in Scotland is at an almost 40-year low but there’s always more we can do to keep ourselves and our property safe.

I’d encourage everyone across Edinburgh to visit our Facebook page, website, or speak to any police officer for crime prevention advice – it really makes a difference and we are here to help.