Now three out of four break-ins un­solved

Crime an­a­lysts call for greater

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Krissy Stor­rar kstor­rar@sundaypost.com

Fewer than one in four breakins are solved by po­lice, ac­cord­ing to crime sta­tis­tics.

Thou­sands of homes are tar­geted by thieves in Scot­land ev­ery year, with the crime of­ten leav­ing vic­tims fear­ful and trau­ma­tised.

Of­fi­cial fig­ures show that the over­all num­ber of house­break­ings is fall­ing and the con­vic­tion rate of those charged is 85%. But the de­tec­tion rate for break-ins and at­tempted break-ins was just 23.9% in the first quar­ter of 2018. Across Scot­land, there were 1,775 house break-ins or at­tempts be­tween April and June . Now ex­perts are call­ing for a re­newed fo­cus on a crime which they say can have a last­ing men­tal and fi­nan­cial im­pact its on vic­tims.

Alan Mc­closkey, Vic­tim Sup­port Scot­land’s di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions, said: “A house break-in can have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on vic­tims and their fam­i­lies.

“Re­ac­tions after such in­ci­dents can in­clude fear and shock as well as anger. There is also anx­i­ety for fam­i­lies that they could be tar­geted again, as well as a sense of vi­o­la­tion.

“Due to the im­pact house break-ins can have on vic­tims, es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, it is es­sen­tial the crime is given the at­ten­tion it de­serves by crim­i­nal jus­tice agen­cies.” Anal­y­sis by Money­su­per­mar­ket showed in 2017 there were 42 in­sur­ance claims due to a break-in per 1,000 quotes in Ed­in­burgh’s EH5 post­code, which in­cludes the Gran­ton area. Home in­sur­ance claims in win­ter are also on av­er­age 37% higher than in sum­mer, which is at­trib­uted to peo­ple hav­ing high-value Christ­mas gifts in their houses.

The low­est rate in Scot­land was in Aberdeen’s AB43 area, which cov­ers Fraser­burgh and Pen­nan, which had just 1.39 claims per 1,000 quotes. Kevin Pratt, con­sumer af­fairs ex­pert at Money­su­per­mar­ket, said: “The claims anal­y­sis sug­gests bur­glar­ies fall into two main cat­e­gories: crimes com­mit­ted in wealthy sub­urbs, where thieves ex­pect rich pick­ings and a de­gree of seclu­sion, and busy ur­ban ar­eas, where strangers at­tract lit­tle at­ten­tion and bur­glars hope to make speedy get­aways.”

Gareth Blair, a Po­lice Scot­land chief su­per­in­ten­dent and Ed­in­burgh di­vi­sional com­man­der, said: “House­break­ing has been a pri­or­ity for po­lice in Ed­in­burgh for a num­ber of years, it is a very per­sonal crime be­ing tar­geted in the place where you should feel safest, and we have worked ex­tremely hard to tackle this. “Ed­in­burgh has a ded­i­cated house­break­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion team who are sup­ported by our pre­ven­tion in­ter­ven­tions and part­ner­ships unit who un­der­take crime pre­ven­tion sur­veys and pro­vide se­cu­rity ad­vice.

“Lat­est fig­ures show an 18% re­duc­tion in break-ins to homes across the city and we con­tinue our ef­forts to dis­rupt those re­spon­si­ble and put them be­fore the courts, as well as en­sur­ing oc­cu­pants can take sim­ple steps to keep their prop­erty safe.”

This is a crime tar­geted in the place you should feel safest

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