A PRIVATELY-owned safe deposit box company is setting up in Edinburgh in response to a wave of break-ins.

The new Edinburgh Safe Deposit service will offer people the chance to secure valuable possessions, from cash to jewellery and family heirlooms.

The business, which also opened a Glasgow Vaults safe deposit service in 2016, says that demand for secure storage has risen in the capital after criminals began targetting upmarket properties.

In Edinburgh in 2017/18 there were more than 3,000 crimes or offences of house break-ins recorded, ahead of Glasgow in second place with just over 2,500.

Meanwhile, the EH4 and EH15 areas of Edinburgh rank among the top 20 UK postcodes for insurance claims following a break-in.

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Police Scotland have also warned people to be vigilant following a number of break-ins across the country, including the capital, targeting Asian gold, jewellery and cash.

Officers said in November 2019 that since April there had been 35 reports of break-ins to properties in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, Renfrew and Ayrshire, resulting in £500,000 of jewellery and cash being stolen.

Around £1 million has been spent equipping the Edinburgh vault with the latest state-of-the-art surveillance technology, including seismic shock sensors, round-the-clock monitoring and biometric identification technology.

It will employ up to 15 staff, and is part of a plan to expand the business across the UK and Ireland.

The service will be open 362 days a year, and was designed in partnership with security consultants working on behalf of insurer Lloyd’s of London.

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Edinburgh Safe Deposit is run by parent company Merrion Vaults, Europe’s largest independently owned safe deposit box company.

The form's owner Seamus Fahy said: “We have decided to launch in the Scottish capital as we believe people across the city and beyond will benefit from having somewhere as secure as Edinburgh Safe Deposit to store their valuables.

"Our service will provide peace of mind to residents, particularly with Edinburgh being the part of Scotland that suffers from most break-ins.

“We decided to launch vaults across the UK and Ireland to fill the gap left by the move by major banks a few years ago to withdraw their service that protects people’s valuable possessions."

He added: “Our Glasgow Vaults has proved popular since its launch four years ago, and we are confident that our Edinburgh service will be just as successful.”