HOUSEBREAKINGS in Glasgow have halved after a crackdown by police.

Break-ins in the city centre - once prime housebreaking territory - have fallen by 56% during the last year.

There were 37 break-ins or attempted break-ins recorded between April and December last year, compa­red with 84 incidences the previous year.

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Detectives say the nationwide roll-out of Operation RAC, which is aimed at targeting those who commit this "invasive and distressing" crime, has helped incidents of housebreaking reduce faster than almost any other offence.

Wayne Mawson, assistant chief constable responsible for policing in the west of Scotland, said: "I say this message directly to those intent on committing housebreakings: We will use every resource at our disposal to remove you from our communities and ensure you spend time behind bars."

Operation RAC, which stands for Recovery and Capture, sees teams of specialist officers investigate break-ins to homes, businesses and other buildings.

Last month, police said that anyone charged with housebreaking over the festive period would be charged on indictment and face trial before a sheriff.

The scheme also meant that a jury could allow tougher sentences to be issued for the crime.

Chief Inspector Alan Porte, area commander for Glasgow City Centre, said: "A break-in to your home is a particularly nasty experience.

"I'm delighted to say that by intelligently targeting patrols we have been able to reduce the incidence of this invasive crime by half in Glasgow city centre."

Break-ins at commercial properties in the city centre, including shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs, have also fallen by 20%.

There were fewer than 100 incidences between April and December last year, compared to 123 the previous year.

Mr Porte added: "We will continue to work hard to reduce this even further."