Survey reveals Edinburgh’s hotspots for vandalism and anti-social behaviour

A stock shot of a burglary. Pic: John Devlin
A stock shot of a burglary. Pic: John Devlin
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Feel safe after darkAnti-social behaviour commonVandalism and graffiti commonViolent crime commonAlmond85282414Pentland Hills70404128Drumbrae/Gyle9125248Forth74423522Inverleith9019166Corstorphine/Murryafield9014153Sighthill/Gorgie69434721Colinton/Fairmilehead8524206F’bridge/ Craiglockhart9013165Morningside9315183City Centre89282310Leith Walk87383412 Leith72433821 Craigentinny/Duddingston84373716Southside/Newington8917237Liberton/Gilmerton83312411Portobello/ Craigmillar8720187

The Edinburgh People Survey discovered a drop in the number of people across the Capital saying violent crime, vandalism and graffiti and anti-social behaviour were not common in their neighbourhood.

But there were large variations between wards, with just 15 per cent of people in Corstorphine/Murrayfield and 16 per cent in Inverleith and Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart saying vandalism and graffiti were common, while in Sighthill/Gorgie it was 47 per cent.

More than 80 per cent of people in Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart, Morningside and Corstorphine/Murrayfield said anti-social behaviour was not common in their area.

Sighthill/Gorgie and Leith were the two parts of the city where residents were most likely to feel there was a problem with anti-social behaviour - 43 per cent in both places said it was common.

Leith Labour councillor Gordon Munro called for more police patrols and pointed out the city already contributes more than £2m a year to Police Scotland for community policing.

He said: “Given that Leith is one of the busiest parts of Edinburgh it needs a service that provides the public with reassurance. There is definitely a need for more foot patrols.

“We’ve had issues recently at Leith Links where the Crops in Pots croft has been targeted by local youths. There were plants which had been planted by five-year-olds which were vandalised. I think more active policing would make them realise the impact they are having on the community.

“It indicates to me there is a resource issue that has not been addressed. If we’re not getting the patrols we need just what is that extra £2m paying for?”

The survey also asked residents if they were satisfied with the way these issues - violent crime, vandalism and anti-social behaviour - were dealt with.

People in Sighthill/Gorgie emerged as the least happy with the way they were handled.

Ashley Graczyk, independent councillor for Sighthill/Gorgie, said she was very concerned residents in her ward were the most dissatisfied in the city on several key issues. She said: “There are continuing frustrations with service performance related to ward maintenance, including tackling graffiti and anti-social behaviour. I am currently engaging with local residents to identify their priorities for improvement.”

Most people across the city said they felt safe in their area after dark, though again there were variations, from 91 per cent in Drumbrae/Gyle to 70 per cent in Pentland Hills.

And street drinking was not seen as a problem by 73 per cent city wide, but that fell to 53 per cent in Pentland Hills and rose to 89 per cent in Corstorphine/Murrayfield.

Amy McNeese-Mechan, chair of the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership, said the survey results were very positive.

She said: “Work continues to reduce all forms of crime through more effective partnership working and increased community engagement. Reducing antisocial behaviour, violence and reoffending are top priorities. In addition to tackling crime and its immediate effects, our work with police colleagues is increasingly focused on prevention.”

Chief Inspector Gill Geany, area commander for Leith, said: “A lot of excellent work is undertaken by our officers to focus on the issues that matter to communities. We attend community council meetings, hold drop-in events, carry out foot patrols and regularly provide updates on social media.”