Stevie Dolan: Crackdown on break-ins, bogus callers and hate crime

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I am happy to report that the number of housebreakings in the west of the city has reduced significantly since my last update, but we will not rest on this latest success and will continue to target housebreakers in the city.

Our efforts to trace those responsible have also led to numerous arrests and the recovery of significant amounts of property. We have, however, seen a recent increase in break-ins to sheds in the Slateford, Oxgangs and South Queensferry areas so I would like to remind our communities once again to ensure these outbuildings are treated as an extension to your home and have appropriate security in place to reduce the opportunities available to would-be housebreakers. Advice on crime prevention is available on the Police Scotland website.

Over recent weeks we have also seen a number of bogus caller incidents within the West and Pentlands, where criminals are targeting vulnerable members of the public and convincing them that their homes require expensive repair work. Victims are often taken to banks to withdraw significant amounts of cash for payment.

Whilst we’ve had some good success recently in identifying those responsible, we all need to work together to prevent such crimes happening. Our national campaign, Operation Monarda, has been taking place recently and some really useful advice is available on our website. If you have family members who don’t have Internet access it may be worth having a read yourself and passing the info on to keep both them and their hard-earned savings safe. Likewise, if you are suspicious about possible bogus callers please let us know and we’ll do out utmost to catch them “in the act”.

Officers in the west of the city are also currently focussing on hate crime. Unfortunately this is something that affects many diverse communities and we meet regularly with a range of partners, including the council, Procurator Fiscal, housing providers, ScoreScotland (a BME support charity) and member of the community to discuss reported crimes and what can jointly be done to reduce the likelihood of occurrences.

My message is that hate crime, in whatever form, is unacceptable and that we will investigate it fully, do everything possible to support victims and work with our partners to address the conduct of those responsible. If it’s happening – report it. Please don’t be a bystander and let’s all make our community a better place to live.