Thieves broke into three Tayside care homes during the coronavirus lockdown, Dundee’s chief superintendent has revealed.
Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd, divisional commander for Dundee, spoke at a meeting of Dundee City Council’s community safety and public protection committee where he condemned the care home break-ins.
He said two homes in Dundee and one in Forfar were targeted by criminals coming from England between April and June this year.
The report presented at the meeting also noted overall housebreaking crimes in Dundee increased during the height of the coronavirus lockdown.
Ch Supt Todd said officers will now patrol the rural roads around Dundee to try to stop other criminals travelling into the area.
He said: “Care homes are safe spaces where our most vulnerable in society live and this demonstrates the type of criminality we are having to deal with.
“We will continue patrols and be visible on rural roads around Dundee to look for travelling criminals and make sure we catch them and deal with them as required.”
A police spokeswoman said no arrests had been made in relation to the care home break-ins and inquiries were ongoing.
In the same three months there were 107 recorded housebreaking incidents, up 33% from 80 recorded in the same period last year.
Break-ins to sheds and other outbuildings also increased from eight to 15, with domestic housebreaking increasing by 62.2% from 37 to 60.
The report added the detection rate for domestic housebreaking during the coronavirus lockdown was as low as 18.3%, often down to Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing measures.
Despite this, break-ins to commercial premises reduced from 35 to 32.
The report added: “Work will be conducted to understand any social demographics and Covid-19 factors contributing to the overall position.
“Inquiries will continue to receive dedicated attention from the community investigation unit.”
At the meeting Councillor Helen Wright also called for more to be done to tackle antisocial behaviour in Dundee, saying she had been approached by numerous constituents who were too afraid to leave their homes.
She said: “I have had people telling me they’ve been threatened with a shotgun and others being threatened with a knife.
“They have been stuck inside too scared to leave their house.
“People who were once proud of where they live are now wanting to leave, so this issue has to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“We can’t have young families with children frightened to go out.”