Violent crimes and housebreaking have fallen in Edinburgh, according to the latest figures.
Police Scotland has issued its Performance Report, introduced by Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, and Q4 Management Information data for 1 April, 2019 to 31 March, 2020.
It shows that overall crime in the capital is down year-on-year by 1.6 per cent, or 818 offences.
Within Edinburgh, violent crime rose by 182 offences. However, when removing offences recorded under new domestic abuse legislation, there was a fall in violent crime.
A total of 205 offences were recorded under the Domestic Abuse Scotland Act, which came into effect last year and created a single offence covering the full range of abusive behaviours, whether physical; psychological; financial or sexual.
There were five fewer victims of attempted murder – a reduction of almost 19 per cent, while serious assaults also fell by just over 18 per cent, equating to 77 fewer incidents.
Protecting vulnerable people and bringing perpetrators of sexual offences to justice remains both a national and local priority and year to date detection rates for all sexual crimes is up 3.4 percentage points, which includes a 6.3 percentage point rise in the detection rate for sexual assaults.
One area of sexual offending that has seen a rise in reporting is lewd and libidinous crime, which rose from 100 offences in 2018/19 to 129 in 2019/20. Many of these offences were identified as part of larger investigations, where additional victims and crimes came to light. Edinburgh Division’s Public Protection Unit continue to conduct proactive inquiries to identify victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
Housebreaking, motor vehicle crime and shoplifting offences are all down from the previous year.
The figures show that there are 484 fewer housebreaking offences, 80 fewer motor vehicle crimes and 783 fewer shoplifting incidents.
Edinburgh Division has also seen 88 more drug supply charges brought against members of the public, as well as a 26.3 per cent rise in drugs possession offences. This is driven by an increase in proactive work within the Capital, through Operation Threshold and two large scale dance events held at the Royal Highland Showground in Ingliston.
Antisocial behaviour continues to fall in Edinburgh, with 1383 fewer incidents than last year.
The most significant reduction is 891 fewer noise complaint reports and fire-raising crimes have also reduced by almost 24 per cent, which equates to 62 less crimes.
The number of road casualties in the division fell from 936, to 779 – a decrease of 153 incidents. Similarly, the number of fatalities has reduced from seven to three.
Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh said: “It is incredibly encouraging to see significant reductions in crime figures for the Capital and I am grateful to all of my officers and staff for their continued professionalism and dedication in serving Edinburgh’s communities.
“Tackling violent and sexual offences are two of our top priorities, along with reducing housebreaking, and I am delighted that these crimes have fallen, meaning we have several hundred fewer victims.
“We are also giving enhanced focus and attention to not only detecting domestic offences, but ensuring victims are suitably supported, while perpetrators are brought before the courts. I want to mirror what DCC Taylor has said and reassure our communities that, despite these offences mostly taking place behind closed doors and in virtual spaces, we will utilise all resources at our disposal to investigate these incidents professionally and sensitively when they are reported.
“Nevertheless, we recognise that more still needs to be done to tackle the continued use of weapons, particularly bladed items during other criminality and our Violence Reduction Units work tirelessly to identify those who both carry and utilise weapons and remove them from our communities.
“In addition, School Link Officers regularly speak with pupils in our high schools to raise awareness of the risks and consequences associated with carrying a weapon.
“The new legislation for domestic abuse to include coercive control means we are seeing more and more reported incidents and I welcome this, as domestic abuse remains an under-reported issue. For those living in a situation where they find themselves being physically, emotionally or sexually abused by a partner, please contact us immediately so we can help you.
“I also want to reaffirm our commitment to road safety and to assure all road users that Road Policing Officers will continue to provide a visible presence on the city’s roads to identify motoring offences and educate the public on safe driving.
“Police Scotland will continue to work alongside all of our relevant partners to improve the quality of life for the city’s residents and to ensure that any issues requiring a police, or multi-agency response, are dealt with appropriately.
“The public continue to have a huge role in helping us not only tackle and reduce crime, but prevent it in the first instance, by taking a range of simple steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their possessions.
“Please visit our website at www.scotland.police.uk for lots of useful information on crime prevention and personal safety.”
Please note, the Q4 report contains Management Information figures and these are not official statistics.