On the Beat – Police team targets break-in offenders

An operation to target shed thieves will continue in 2017.
An operation to target shed thieves will continue in 2017.

I’d like to start my first On the Beat of 2017 by wishing everybody a Happy and Prosperous New Year, writes Chief Inspecor Kenny Simpson.

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holidays and were able to spend time with friends and family and enjoy all the season has to offer.

Over the festive period my officers and I worked to ensure the holidays and celebrations passed safely. In addition to our normal duties we conducted a number of initiatives as part of the annual festive campaign. These included increased foot patrols around busy shopping areas, in particular Straiton Retail Park, and also road checks that targeted the morning after period.

In relation to the ongoing issue of break-ins to houses, garages and sheds in Midlothian at the end of 2016, we created a dedicated team of officers, supported by analysts and other specialised departments to target the problem and known offenders. There have been some early successes with a number of individuals charged and this operation will continue in 2017.

It is hoped that this targeted and focussed approach will have some significant results and reduce incidents which can have a profound effect on victims. If you wish to know more about crime prevention or steps you can take to protect your property you can visit the Lockdown Crime in Midlothian website or contact your local Community Officer using the 101 system.

Another area of concern was anti-social behaviour in and around Dalkeith Town Centre. We have also targeted this using our Community Officers and I am aware that the problem is still present and involves groups of young teenagers. I would again ask for your help with this and ask you to ensure you know what your children are doing at night and to be aware if they are drinking under-age.

Another area I would like to highlight is the problem of livestock worrying. There have been a number of incidents recently involving dogs worrying and attacking sheep. I am conscious that the lambing season is nearing and sheep are heavily pregnant and any incidents of this kind can have a serious impact for farmers. I would therefore ask dog owners to be responsible and keep dogs under control and on a lead when near sheep and other animals.

As we move into the New Year I hope we can continue to work together to make Midlothian a safer and better place to live and work.