Increased poverty given as possible link to increase in housebreaking

A leading Moray community councillor has blamed desperation of people struggling to cope with unemployment as a possible reason for an increase in housebreakings around Moray.

Alastair Kennedy, who is chairman of the Elgin Community Council, said that with so many people out of work and desperate for money it may be understandable that their problems can lead them to crime.

His comments came on the back of revelations from Police Scotland’s head of operations in Moray, Superintendent Mark Cooper, that while the overall crime rate in Moray has fallen the number of housebreakings is showing a marked increase.

Supt Cooper stressed that while their was an increase in joint figures for Moray and Aberdeenshire – from 269 in 2013 to 348 last year – there was also a 15% increase in the detection of such crimes.

The figures are a concern for Elgin North councillor Barry Jarvis: “I have heard of a few cases of sneak-in thefts and people trying back doors to see if they are open.  At this time of year people need to be very vigilant.”

Mr Kennedy added: “Just now there are so many people out of work and desperate for money – I’m not condoning what they are doing but you can almost understand how some people’s problems can lead to this.

“The concern is that if crime rates are falling in Moray then resources might be pulled away to the central belt by the single police force.”

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