In recent weeks, there have been a number of break-ins to homes within the Bo’ness and Blackness areas which I understand will be of concern to the local community.
The majority of these crimes have occurred overnight and we believe that those responsible may be travelling from outside the Forth Valley area to commit these offences.
In terms of tackling this type of crime there are two strands; investigative and preventative.
The responsibility for the investigation element within the Falkirk area lies with the community investigation unit.
This is a specialist team of dedicated local officers whose focus is targeted on crimes such as housebreaking.
They work to identify if particular crimes form a pattern and work with neighbouring divisions to identify those responsible and initiate action against them.
When investigating this type of crime, it is routine for officers to conduct enquiries within the local area to identify potential witnesses and assess any opportunities for CCTV evidence.
The scene will be secured as soon as possible to allow local and specialist officers to conduct the necessary enquiries.
Forensic officers will then attend almost every residential housebreaking that occurs to recover evidence for future prosecutions.
If there is an indication that the suspects are still within the local area at the time of the crime being reported, further resources, such as the dog unit, may be deployed to assist in the search.
In terms of prevention, we work closely with our partners and the community to provide security advice to residents and reduce the chances of them becoming a victim of crime.
Given that the recent crimes in Bo’ness and Blackness have occurred mainly during the night, officers will continue to carry out road checks during these hours.
As we believe those responsible are travelling into the area, officers will be positioned at key locations with access to the Bo’ness area.
‘‘The idea of road checks is to deter criminals from coming into the area in the first place and to identify and apprehend those that do come into the local area with the intent of committing crime.
The community can take some simple measures to help prevent their homes from becoming a target.
These include ensuring that all doors and windows are locked when the house is empty overnight, don’t leave car keys or valuables in plain sight and report any suspicious activity or vehicles to Police Scotland on 101 as soon as possible.
If you witness a crime being committed dial 999.