I was delighted to read the latest police statistics for Aberdeenshire showing that house break-ins are down by almost 40 per cent.
With summer now hopefully well on its way, this is a key time for opportunist thieves who take advantage of open doors and windows, sneaking in to steal valuables while families enjoy the good weather.
So while this should not make anyone complacent, it is worth noting the significant downturn in house breaking and attempted home break-ins.
Housebreaking in Aberdeenshire from 2013/14 to 2014/15 has fallen by 39 per cent, and crimes of all dishonesty, including theft by house breaking, theft of motor vehicles, fraud, embezzlement and forgery, has dropped by 25.1 per cent across Aberdeenshire over the same time frame. In 2013/14, 5258 crimes of dishonesty were reported, while only 3940 were recorded in 2014/15.
Motor vehicle crime has also taken a nosedive – with 37.8 per cent fewer such crimes being reported between 2013/14 and 2014/15. Break-ins to cars and thefts from unlocked vehicles also saw significant decreases of 69.4 per cent and 50.5 per cent respectively.
It is maybe because locals in areas such as the Mearns and Portlethen are being vigilant and taking more care that these statistics have shown such a marked improvement. But the advice still is to stay safe as the nights get longer, and to leave homes and outhouses securely locked when jetting off on holiday.
The security of garages and sheds should also be taken as seriously as homes, given the value of the property often in these buildings. Valuables shouldn’t be left in clear view or easy to reach places, and if there is ever any suspicious activity, the police are only a phone call away.
Looking out for our neighbours, especially those that are old and vulnerable is also so important as unfortunately they can present a target for an opportunist looking to make some quick cash.
Let us all help them make their homes safer, and create a community looking out for each other.