Housebreaking Continues to Fall in Edinburgh as Impact of Covid on Crime Figures Lessens
Housebreaking in Edinburgh has continued to fall, despite COVID no longer significantly affecting reported crime.
Police Scotland has today released its Q1 Management of Information data for the period of 1 April, to 30 June, 2021, which shows that the total number of housebreaking incidents, including attempted break-ins has reduced from 504, to 343.
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “While restrictions relating to the pandemic continue to have an impact on the policing needs of our communities, the effect is different compared to the same period last year, when the first lockdown had only recently been introduced and the most stringent measures were in place."
Last year we saw fewer houses being broken into as criminals looked targeted businesses and outbuildings instead. These crimes are now reducing whilst at the same time housebreakings to peoples’ homes have decreased by over 60% over the last 5 years.
Housebreaking remains a key priority for the division and all incidents are investigated by the Capital's dedicated Housebreaking Team.
Nationally, overall reported crime has risen from last year, when the country first entered lockdown.
This trend is mirrored in Edinburgh, where 187 additional crimes were recorded in comparison to the first quarter of 2020/21.
Across Scotland violent crime has also risen, but this is not reflected within Edinburgh, which has seen an overall fall in violent offences from 206, to 193.
This includes zero murders, compared to one last year, nine fewer serious assaults and 16 fewer incidents of robbery and assault with intent rob. This number also includes threats and extortion which account for over 15% of those offences.
The majority of these are attempts to extort money through online scams. These are often perpetrated overseas and establishing the nature and origin of the offending can be challenging. Tackling this kind of offending is recognised within the force strategic plan as cyber enabled crime increases the need for specialist skills and strengthened ties with other law enforcement agencies across the globe.
The division is also bucking the trend in terms of a rise in fatal road collisions, with one fewer of these tragic incidents being reported. Whilst there has been an increase in serious and slight injury collisions as we have moved out of lockdown these remain far below the injuries recorded before the pandemic and we are committed to driving them down further.
Edinburgh is consistent with the rest of the country in relation to an increase in sexual crime, with the division also experiencing a rise in overall sexual offences. The increases in sexual crime are lower than the national average and reflect a significant proportion of historical offences which are identified through officers building trust and confidence in victims and encouraging them to come forward with previously unreported crimes.
Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh, said: "Last year's unprecedented circumstances saw the crime picture for both Edinburgh and Scotland being skewed.
"DCC Taylor has confirmed that we are seeing a continued rise in 999 calls as we keep moving towards a sense of normality and I echo her support for the officers and staff working in our C3 facilities.
“I am also grateful to my own officers and staff who continue to serve the city with distinction and professionalism in very trying times.
“My officers and I know that the public will recognise that last year was extraordinary. We met those challenges and delivered excellent results. This year as we return to some welcome normality it is pleasing to see that recorded crime remains below the 5 year average. We will continue to effectively target our time and resources to address emerging trends in this post pandemic year.”