Edinburgh crime falls by 10 per cent as police get proactive

New methods to prevent and tackle violence are hailed . . .

ALMOST every part of Edinburgh has seen a drop in crime in the last year – some areas by as much as 20 percent.

New figures today revealed overall crime in the city has dropped by an average of 10 per cent, with the city centre and Leith Walk seeing among the biggest decreases.

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Police chiefs today welcomed the figures as evidence that the force's "proactive approach towards preventing and tackling violent crime" has produced positive results.

But some crimes were on the rise in Edinburgh, with housebreakings climbing by 14 per cent to a total of 1,625 from 1,423. And bike thefts rose by 18 per cent as thieves made off with 1,705 cycles during the 12 month period.

A "crime-map" of the city shows only the Corstorphine/Drumbrae/Gyle area recorded a rise in crime with an eight per cent increase in offending between last April and March.

Local councillors said work was needed to reverse the trend, but pointed out it was a "low crime" area which saw an increase of just 99 offences.

Lib Dem councillor Louise Lang, who represents Leith Walk welcomed the area's 20 per cent drop in crime, though it maintains the unwanted position as the city's break-in hotspot.

She said: "Obviously housebreaking remains an issue for us and a big part of that may be down to the large volume of tenement properties in the area."

Newington/Southside recorded the Capital's lowest drop in crime, and kept the top spot for bike thefts for Edinburgh.

Labour councillor Ian Perry, one of the councillors who covers the Newington/Southside ward said: "We've been aware for some time of the problem of bike thefts in the area, which is due to our high student population. We've been trying to find ways to combat these theft by working with student groups, but it's proving particularly difficult."

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The city centre came out highest for serious assaults, robbery and assaults, drug possession and possession of an offensive weapon but posted an overall drop in crimes committed of 17 percent. The Wester Hailes/Sighthill and Gorgie area had the second highest crime rate overall, while placing first for levels of lewd and libidinous behaviour and vandalism.

Councillor Paul Edie, the city's community safety leader, said: "Often the fear of crime can be disproportionately higher than the actual reality and these figures show that police and the council are having great success in catching criminals."

Cllr Edie, who also represents the Corstorphine/Murrayfield ward, added: "The eight per cent increase in crime in Corstorphine/Drumbrae/Gyle represents a relatively small numerical rise of 99 offences. I would like to reassure residents that it remains a low-crime area although we have to stay vigilant to try and reverse this trend."

A police spokeswoman said: "The year end figures for the city of Edinburgh are encouraging, with a 10 per cent drop in all recorded crime.

"We have also seen an eight percent drop in recorded crimes of violence, including attempted murder, serious assault, and robberies. We recognise that housebreaking is a distressing and particularly personal crime, and we will be working to reduce our figures in these areas in the coming year."

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