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More knives taken off Edinburgh's streets

Edinburgh’s police officers have taken a greater number of knives off the streets during the first quarter of 2020/21.

Police Scotland has issued its Q1 Management of Information data for April-June 2020 and during this time the division has increased their detection rate for offensive and bladed weapons by almost 14 per cent. This coincides with an additional 22 weapon offences being recorded.

Tackling violence remains a priority for Police Scotland and various initiatives and tactics, such as stop and search, have contributed to the rise in recoveries and improved solvency rate.

In addition, there has been a fall in the number of serious assaults taking place within the city. In total, 53 were recorded in this quarter, which is down 22 on the same period last year.

Similarly, the number of robberies and assault with intent to rob incidents also decreased from 67 to 60. Meanwhile the detection rate for these crimes has risen by almost 30 percentage points.

However, a number of crime trends have seen significant increases, including online sexual offences and fraud.

The number of reports of indecent communications has risen from 42 to 56 – up one third from the first quarter of 2019/20. Similarly, there have been two additional offences recorded for the taking, distributing and possession of indecent photos of children. In total, 16 such crimes were recorded in 2020/21, compared to 14 last year.

Fraud is an area that continues to see a national increase in recorded offences and Edinburgh is also experiencing an upward trend. The first quarter data shows that fraud has risen by 18 per cent, meaning 394 crimes were reported between April and June this year. This is 61 more than between April and June 2019.

Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh, said: “The quarterly management of information data is really useful, highlighting rising crime trends and thereby allowing my officers and staff to respond accordingly.

“However, as Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor has made clear, the first quarter period of 2020/21 is extremely unprecedented, given the restrictions placed on the public’s movements. As such, we must not be tempted to jump to hasty conclusions on crime trends at this time.

“While rises in offences such as online sexual crime and fraud require appropriate attention, these are not issues isolated to the Capital and Police Scotland’s specialist units and relevant partners continue to support local policing teams in tackling these crimes and supporting victims.

“It is however, reassuring to observe a fall in violent crimes such as serious assault, as well as robbery and assault with intent to rob, coupled with a greater detection rate for weapon possession offences.

“We will continue to target all forms of criminality in Edinburgh in order to keep the city a safe place to live, work and visit, while at the same time building on the national success of improving public confidence in policing.”




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