Around half as many houses were broken into in Perth and Kinross this summer as in the year before, police have revealed.
Between the start of April and the end of August, the figure fell from 48 incidents to 27.
Since the beginning of last month, another seven housebreakings have been reported.
Police say this “represents a significant reduction” in reported crime compared to 2019 figures and remains well below the five-year average.
The latest statistics have maintained Perth and Kinross’ position as significantly lower than the national average.
Officers say recorded crimes are split equally between the city and wider Perthshire, and that times and days of the week when crimes are committed vary.
Thieves targeted 127 vehicles over the summer – similar to the previous quarter – and an “overwhelming number” of thefts from vehicles saw phones, tools and
smaller electronic devices stolen after they had been left in full view in unattended vehicles.
Police say while small numbers of vehicles are believed to be stolen as part of organised crime activity across Scotland, the most common method remains appropriation of the
keys from associates or family or at house parties.
While homes have been targeted less frequently by thieves, shoplifting rates have returned to pre-lockdown levels, with alcohol remaining “by far” the most frequently stolen item.
Addressing councillors this week, local area commander Chief Inspector Graham Binnie explained items most regularly stolen from houses continue to be those which can be easily carried by the perpetrator such as cash, phones, bank cards and in some cases, prescribed medication.
He said: “Our acquisitive crime levels in terms of housebreakings are well down, in terms of last year[‘s figures].
“We’ve launched an operation in the last couple of months to target acquisitive crime and we’ve had some notable successes in targeting individuals who have been involved in, or responsible for, a series of break-ins to cars and break-ins to properties.
“That operation continues and there’s been a notable link to criminality in Edinburgh about the theft of bicycles, which we’ve seen notably increase this summer, not just in Perth and Kinross but nationally.”
While the vast majority of bicycles stolen have been unattended, some have been
targeted in house breakings.
Police say that with the summer months behind them, this spate is levelling out.