A NEW house-breaking campaign has been launched by Crimestoppers along with Police Scotland.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of how homeowners and tenants - particularly the vulnerable in local communities - can protect their property by speaking up anonymously if they know of a planned break-in or have witnessed suspicious activity.

In 2021/2022, there were 8,489 recorded house-breaking crimes in Scotland but with Christmas approaching and the on-going cost-of-living crisis, police have warned that they expect an increase in the number of house-breakings.

Angela Parker, Scotland National Manager for the independent charity Crimestoppers, said: “Housebreaking is not a victimless crime. It’s traumatic to lose valuable and personally important items from your home – and the emotional shock of having your property invaded can also be deeply upsetting. 

“Criminal gangs can target the most vulnerable in communities and our campaign aims to gather information about who is behind house theft.

“When you contact us, we won’t judge or ask for any personal details. All we want to know is what you know. We guarantee you’ll remain 100% anonymous. Always.

"If you have any information about people who have recently moved into Scottish communities to sell drugs, please contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the charity’s website and fill in the simple and secure anonymous online form.

"By working together we can help keep our homes and communities safe.”

Meanwhile Detective Superintendent Andy Patrick, Police Scotland's Acquisitive Crime Lead, added: “Housebreaking is an extremely invasive crime, which can have a devastating impact on victims long after the offence has been committed.

“Police Scotland treats all reports of housebreaking with the utmost seriousness, and we have dedicated teams who specifically investigate such crimes to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

“Our communities have a vital role to play in preventing housebreaking by taking appropriate steps to safeguard their homes, businesses, and outbuildings, such as garages and sheds.

"We have a range of useful crime prevention advice available on our website at www.scotland.police.uk.

“Similarly, I would also encourage the public to report any suspicious activity they witness within their community to police, or should they have information relating to a planned housebreaking, then contact us via 101, or Crimestoppers in complete anonymity. In an emergency always use 999.”