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Police Newsletter Beat SM46 Marchmont

A Division

Community and Neighbourhood Watch News

ISSUE 42 February 2008

'Working in Partnership for a Safer City'

City Wide

Work With Us

On the 11th January 2008 the Safer Community Units and Youth Action Teams were joined together to form Neighbourhood Action Units. This followed a detailed review of the work of the teams by Lothian and Borders Police and the City of Edinburgh Council.

In order to provide the best service to you the Neighbourhood Action Units will be based in 6 Neighbourhood Areas across Edinburgh and will be on duty 7 days a week. They will work with you to identify the people and problems that are affecting the quality of life in your community. They will work with you in the communities to tackle these problems and make Edinburgh an even safer city to live in and visit.

Your Neighbourhood Action Unit will carry out daily patrols and will be responsible for dealing with ongoing local issues. You can contact them directly for advice and information. If you require more urgent assistance you should continue to call the Force Communication Centre on 0131 311 3131 or 999 in an emergency.

Chief Superintendent George Simpson, Divisional Commander.

Hot Topics

Handbag Thieves

During the month of January thieves targeted the handbags of elderly women shopping within supermarkets.

In many of these cases the victims had left their handbags unattended in the shopping trolley whilst they were selecting goods to buy.

In four of these cases no suspect was seen however in a further three instances the victims were distracted by the suspect only to discover the theft when attempting to pay for goods.

The description given is of a white male, 17-18 years who spoke with ‘east European’ accent.

We will be working closely with the main supermarkets to encourage store staff to be more active in preventing such crimes.

We take this opportunity to remind shoppers to be vigilant and make sure your handbag is properly closed, do not leave it unattended and be aware of strangers distracting your attention.

In one instance a stolen bank card was successfully used to take money from an ATM. Please remember not to write the PIN number for your bank cards down and when obtaining money or paying for goods do not let others see you enter your PIN.

Local News

Beat SM46

This is the February edition of your monthly newsletter, reviewing the results of crime trends in respect of your ward during January.

January was relatively quiet in terms of crime in your ward, with 45 crimes reported (compared with 60 during December and 63 during November 2007).

The frequency of housebreakings in the area during January was relatively low, with 4 being reported by the public. Properties at the following locations were targetted:

Marchmont Road (business premises), Strathearn Place, Warrender Park Crescent, Warrender Park Terrace

Three of these housebreakings have been solved, with the culprits being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

This continues the general downward trend in housebreaking since last autumn (compare with 8 housebreakings reported in December, 6 in November, 8 in October, and 21 in September 2007). Note these figures include attempted as well as actual housebreakings.

There were 8 minor thefts reported during January, including one shoplifting, and as the circumstances vary widely, none of these thefts would appear to be related to each other. Enquiries are continuing.

There were 3 thefts of motor vehicles (including one attempted theft) reported in the area during January, on separatedates at the following locations:

Marchmont Road, Roseneath Terrace, Thirlestane Road.

The frequency of this crime type has therefore remained relatively low in the area over the last few weeks (compare with 2 in December, and 7 in November).

Three vehicles in the ward were reported as vandalised during January, at:

Roseneath Place, Spottiswoode Street, Thirlestane Road.

These vandalisms have not yet been solved, and there is no obvious pattern to their occurrence, with each taking place on differing dates. These figures can be compared with 1 vandalism to a vehicle reported in December and 5 in November).

One car was broken into in your ward during January, in Valleyfield Street. Generally, however this type of crime remains uncommon in the area, as no break-ins to vehicles were reported during the previous two months.

The number of bikes stolen has subsided recently, with three being reported stolen in January. However, it remains an ongoing problem in the area. Please see my back page for advice on how you can help us to prevent this crime type…

There were 8 minor assaults reported in the area during January, of which 4 have already been solved and reported to the Procurator Fiscal (compare with 8 assaults reported in December and 6 in November).

There was one sexually aggravated crime reported in the area during January, and I would like to bring this to your attention in case you are able to offer Police any information about the suspect. An incident occurred on Strathearn Place on the 6th of January in which a female walking home in the evening was alarmed by a male who approached her and propositioned her in a very explicit manner. The male appeared to be of Mediterranean origin, with black wavy hair, aged in his late 20s/early 30s. Please contact Police if you are able to provide any other information to help us find this male.

The number of recorded offences involving controlled drugs has remained relatively low in this beat area, with none being reported during January. However, we are not complacent about these low statistics and are keen to hear from you if you have any information to offer us about local drug-use or drug-dealing. Either contact me directly using the contact details provided on the back page of this newsletter, or if you wish to remain entirely anonymous, you can phone the ‘Crimestoppers’ number on 0800 555 111 to report your suspicions.

Three incidents of graffiti were reported in the ward during January (compare with 4 reported in December and 5 in November).

Our officers made a good capture during January when they caught one young male in the act of graffiti-ing property. He has since been reported to the Procurator Fiscal for dozens of crimes of vandalism, relating to a string of incidents reported over the last few months, whereby he had written his own graffiti ‘tag’ on property belonging to many different members of the public at various locations in the ward area.

I would urge you to report to the Police any new graffiti that you find on your property. We are keen to record this and will come out and photograph it if you are unable to do so yourself. If you do have a digital camera, please send any relevant photographs to:

We are particularly keen to catch graffiti-taggers ‘in the act’, so please do call us immediately if you see them, providing a description of the suspects over the phone.

There were 6 other miscellaneous vandalisms reported during January, mostly comprising smashed windows, and so far one of these has been solved. None of these appear to be related.

Useful Numbers

  And Finally...

Community Beat Officer for Marchmont
PC 5801A Lindsey Thomson


Inspector Tom Galbraith

Force Communications Centre
(For reporting non-emergency crimes or other disorder)
Tel: 0131 311 3131

St Leonards Police Station
Tel: 0131 662 5000

Community Safety Department
Tel: 0131 221 2050 / 2100

Youth Action Team
Carolyn McGhee
Tel: 0131 529 5151
  Pedal Cycles

Pedalcycle theft has been very common around Marchmont historically, and we regularly run initiatives to try and combat this type of criminal activity.

Many bicycles are stolen from inside the common stair areas of tenements, even when secured to the stair rods or banisters. Where possible, we would urge bicycle owners to keep their bicycles locked away inside flats, houses or garages, as it seems to be all too easy for thieves to gain access to common stair areas. Where it is not possible to store bicycles inside private premises, bicycle owners can help to deter thieves by investing in good quality, sturdy chains and cables to secure their bicycles, ensuring the main door in any associated tenement remains locked, and by asking the neighbours to allow only genuine callers access to the common stair area.

PC 5801A Lindsey Thomson
Community Beat Officer
Beat SM46
Marchmont & the Meadows