Police urged to ‘get a grip’ in dealing with break-ins

There were 1,971 domestic break-ins between last April and September. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
There were 1,971 domestic break-ins between last April and September. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Fewer than one in ten house break-ins are solved by police in some parts of Scotland, figures show. Recorded crime statistics from Police Scotland show detection rates vary dramatically across the country and are as low as 7 per cent in one area.

Across the country, there were 1,971 domestic break-ins between 1 April to 30 September, down from 2,322 during the same period last year.

But the detection rate also fell, from 32 per cent in 2015/16 to 25 per cent in 2016/17.

While many areas of the country outperform the national average, the detection rate drops to just 11 per cent in Angus and 13 per cent in East Dunbartonshire.

In Perth and Kinross, where there were just 30 housebreakings during the period, the detection rate was seven per cent, down from 33 per cent the previous year.

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Douglas Ross said: “It seems housebreaking has been allowed to slip right down Police Scotland’s agenda.

“This is despite it being one of the most intrusive and upsetting crimes that can occur to someone.

“For some areas to be solving fewer than one in ten of these crimes is utterly unacceptable, and will only embolden the criminals who make their victims’ lives miserable.

Police Scotland need to get a grip of this as a matter of priority.”
Police Scotland was heavily criticised over a big rise in housebreakings in Edinburgh following the formation of the national force in 2013.

The latest figures show there were 730 domestic break-ins in the capital during the period between 1 April and 30 September, down from 974 in the same period the previous year.

But the number of detections also fell from 432 (44 per cent) to 221 (30 per cent). A crime is considered detected or cleared up when there is enough evidence available to consider a prosecution.

In Glasgow there were 857 housebreakings during the period, with a detection rate of 13.9 per cent.

That compared to 781 housebreakings and a detection rate of 24 per cent the year before. There were 184 housebreakings in Aberdeen, with a detection rate of 22 per cent.

Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson said: “Detection rates for all crime can vary from division to division due to a wide range of factors, however we keep them under close scrutiny so that the appropriate steps can be taken to ensure every type of crime is solved effectively.”