“If it doesn’t look right, it’s probably wrong”

That’s the focus of a new housebreaking awareness campaign being launched in Scotland today following concerns raised about this type of crime in a number of local communities.

The independent charity Crimestoppers are appealing to the public, who have suspicions about those committing housebreakings or selling stolen goods, to contact them anonymously.

This campaign is due to be promoted throughout Scotland, with widespread advertising at train stations and on buses, as well as an extensive social media campaign and the distribution of 150,000 postcards and 15,000 posters in community centres, shops, petrol stations, doctors surgeries, leisure centres and council offices.

Crimestoppers’ Regional Manager, Dave Hunter said: “The impact of housebreaking cannot be underestimated, as victims can be left traumatised and terrified that the intruder may return, or bereft at the loss of sentimental, irreplaceable items.

We are urging the public to be aware of possible signs and tell us what they know, anonymously, by contacting the charity.

No personal information is taken and no one will ever know who you are. Calls are not traced or recorded and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police. In the 26 years that Crimestoppers has been running we have never broken our promise of anonymity.”

Crimestoppers are working in partnership with Police Scotland’s Operation RAC initiative, established to provide a targeted response to tackle housebreaking.

Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson said: "Police Scotland’s initiative, Operation RAC, was launched on Monday 16th December as the Force looks to address an overall 4 per cent increase in housebreaking offences since last year. However, we must stress that crime is at a 39-year-low.

Local communities have identified housebreaking, which also includes thefts from sheds and outbuildings as a local priority and our activities should reassure the public that we are listening to their concerns and responding appropriately.

Operation RAC activities will continue for the foreseeable future and anyone responsible for committing a housebreaking or associated offence can expect to be dealt with by police.”

Crimestoppers offers cash rewards of up to £1,000 for information given anonymously to the charity via 0800 555 111 that leads to the arrest and conviction of offenders. Rewards are paid anonymously through special Crimestoppers’ procedures. Ring the Crimestoppers national 24/7 telephone number on 0800 555 111 or contact the charity via our Anonymous Online Form. Information given via the online form will not be eligible to receive the reward.

-ENDS-

For more information please contact Crimestoppers’ PR and Media Officer Fiona Murton-Taylor on 020 8835 3737 and email fiona.murton-taylor@crimestoppers-uk.org

Notes to Editors

  • Rewards will only be payable for information passed to Crimestoppers’ 0800 555 111 number. Information passed to police will not qualify.
  • Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also use our ‘giving information’ form via our website www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
  • Around 20 people are arrested and charged every day as a result of information given to Crimestoppers.
  • Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received over a million actionable calls, resulting in over 126,000 arrests and charges. Over £127 million worth of goods has been recovered and over £301 million worth of drugs has been seized.
  • In 2005, Crimestoppers launched the UK’s Most Wanted on its website which allows the public to view images of criminals and pass on vital information about their whereabouts. It has been highly successful with over 2,700 arrests to date.
  • Crimestoppers UK was founded by Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Chairman of Trustees. In 1988, he launched Crimestoppers in the Metropolitan Police area. Crimestoppers’ ‘call to action’ is built on a three-way partnership between the business community, the police and the media.