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'EDINBURGH IS ONE OF THE SAFEST CITIES IN THE UK'

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A 49 page report analysing resident's perception of crime in Edinburgh has been released. The report highlights tha...
A 49 page report analysing resident's perception of crime in Edinburgh has been released. The report highlights that Edinburgh is one of the safest cities in the UK. 81% of residents have not been a victim of crime in the last year and 82% of residents say they do not feel threatened by crime in their neighbourhood. It also reports that 92% of residents are satisfied with Edinburgh as a place to live, as compared to 75% in London.

Donald Anderson, Leader of the Council said: 'Edinburgh is a very safe and pleasant place to live. Out of 36 cities in the UK, Edinburgh came fourth in resident satisfaction. Additionally, in comparison with other cities, concern about becoming a victim of crime is relatively low in Edinburgh.

We are addressing the areas where people do have concerns through the use of neighbourhood wardens, greater use of CCTV and putting more police officers on the street - 36 officers paid for by the Council with a specific remit to tackle antisocial behaviour, and six Youth Action Teams, preventing and tackling youth related antisocial behaviour. We will continue to work imaginatively with our partners to apply these resources where they are needed to make this City even safer.'

The Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership (ECSP) commissioned MORI to conduct the Fear of Crime survey which was designed to measure the experience and perceptions of crime across the City.

A common finding of the survey was that there was a gap between people's perception of crime levels and the reality. One in five (18%) say they feel threatened by crime either a great deal or a fair amount. A quarter (23%) believe crime has risen in their local area in recent years and over a third believe that it has risen across the city. Despite this, experience of crime is low - 81% of respondents have not been victims of crime in the last twelve months.

Cllr Sheila Gilmore, Chair of Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership and Executive Member for Community Safety and Housing said: 'We know that there are parts of our City where the perception and experience of crime are greater than in others. Our main task in such areas is to reduce these indicators. This means working with local people to reduce both actual experiences and perceptions.'

Although Edinburgh is doing well compared to other cities in regards to anti-social behaviour, residents would like to see a range of initiatives aimed at improving safety in their area. Among their top priorities are reducing anti-social behaviour (45%), reducing core crime (42%) and reducing problems associated with drugs and alcohol (38%).

These priorities closely reflect those outlined in the ECSP Strategy 2005-2008. The Strategy was produced as a direct result of a community safety audit which examined crime and community safety trends in Edinburgh over the previous six years and other available public surveys about the perception of the fear of crime, anti-social behaviour and safety in the city. Through this partnership, the City of Edinburgh Council will continue to work with partner organisations such as the Lothian and Borders Police to address priority issues for residents.

Lesley Clark, Lothian and Borders Police Superintendent of Partnership Working said: 'These findings are very encouraging. 9 out of 10 residents state they are satisfied with life in the capital. This puts Edinburgh fourth out of 36 cities and regions across the United Kingdom.

Edinburgh is a very safe city and recorded crime here continues to fall. A key feature of our approach has been an unprecedented level of joint working between Lothian and Borders Police, the City of Edinburgh Council and a number of other agencies and bodies.

Antisocial behaviour remains one of our top priorities, and officers have shown an enthusiasm and willingness to embrace wholly new methods of working to tackle it. A recent games console initiative in the south of the city provides an excellent example. The unique scheme saw youth calls to the area fall by 50%.

All this is not to say we are complacent about crime in the capital. We will continue to provide safety advice so that the public can take reasonable steps to avoid becoming a victim of crime and - where crimes do occur - we will strive to detect and report offenders.'

Notes

1.The Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership is responsible for co-ordinating a joint agency response to community safety issues across the city. The lead agencies for community safety in Edinburgh are Lothian and Borders Police, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service and the City of Edinburgh Council.

2.The full Fear of Crime Survey can be found on www.saferedinburgh.org.uk

3.The study was carried out by MORI Scotland between March and April 2005. The study used a sample size of 1061 residents from across the city. This is a sample size statistically significant for the City as a whole. The sample size does not allow for analysis at the ward level.

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