Now three out of four break-ins unsolved
Crime analysts call for greater
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