THE first holiday period of the new season seems to have been unfortunate to coincide with unseasonably cold temperatures and you may well be packing the sledges and not the sun cream for the Easter holidays.

Unfortunately over the last fortnight, we have also seen another spike in housebreaking and the latest information indicates that the criminals concerned are targeting high-value jewellery, so if you have such items, it is worth considering where they are stored and secured in your house.

If you are heading away for the holidays, please ensure you take some simple precautions in terms of your home security such as securing all windows and doors and arranging for some lighting to come on within your property, which is easily possible with timers and other wifi-enabled devices.

If you are leaving vehicles at the property, consider how to secure them and the keys, and arrange for someone to check on the property periodically while you are away. Please also consider joining Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, which we use to spread information about crime happening in your area.

East Lothian Courier: Dogs should be kept on a lead near livestockDogs should be kept on a lead near livestock

In conjunction with our partners, we are continuing to jointly patrol the coastal and countryside areas this season, and I would encourage everyone thinking of travelling to the beaches to park in designated areas and to respect local residents in the places you are visiting.

This time last year, April saw a number of thefts of GPS equipment from farm vehicles in East Lothian, which were ultimately solved by some good investigation work from our CID officers; however, this type of crime remains prevalent in other areas and we would encourage any farm equipment or machinery to be stored securely in buildings.

To find more information on preventative equipment approved by Police Scotland, please look at

As you have heard me say before, the countryside in East Lothian is a beautiful place but it is also a place of work and source of livelihood for many, so I would encourage everyone to use the countryside responsibly and respectfully. Please ensure that you keep your dog on a lead whilst walking in or near fields or open land where there may be sheep with young lambs or other livestock. Livestock worrying is a criminal offence and causes significant animal suffering.

If you see anything that concerns you whilst you are out, please use the contact form on the Police Scotland website (, call 101 or in an emergency call 999.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very pleasant Easter break, wherever you are spending it.