House-breaking up by almost half in Borders, figures reveal

From left, new regional fire chief Stephen Gourlay, deputy board chairman Kirsty Darwent, board chairman Watson McAteer and new police divisional commander Chief Superintendent Lesley Clark at Friday's meeting.
From left, new regional fire chief Stephen Gourlay, deputy board chairman Kirsty Darwent, board chairman Watson McAteer and new police divisional commander Chief Superintendent Lesley Clark at Friday's meeting.

The number of house-breakings reported in the Borders so far this year is up almost half on last year, new police statistics reveal.

That 47% rise in thefts from houses, with 17 more victims reported, is one of the figures given in the latest Police Scotland scrutiny report for the region.

It is partly attributed to an increase in travelling criminals targeting the Borders over recent months.

In response to the rise, there is to be a focus on home security as part of the police’s upcoming festive campaign.

A report to last Friday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s police, fire and rescue and safer communities board last week said: “The Scottish Borders has seen an increase in travelling criminals committing both business and domestic housebreakings in recent months.

“This is not unique to this area, with this crime type being replicated throughout the Lothians. Owing to the Borders having a very low number last year, this magnifies the percentage increase.”

Alongside the housebreaking statistics there was a 16.7% hike in theft of motor vehicles, again believed to be down to travelling criminals.

The report also highlights another 16.7% rise, in violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour, equating to 441 more incidents.

That has led to the development of a multi-agency initiative to try to stop alcohol being supplied to youths across the Borders, and it is to be launched next month.

More positive developments include a 42.6% decrease, resulting in 23 fewer casualties, in the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. The number of fatalities stands at four, five fewer than last year.

The report adds: “Focused attention on younger and older drivers over the last five years within the Scottish Borders appears to be paying dividends with these groups.”

The year so far has also seen a 6% fall in common assaults, equating to 24 fewer incidents.