BREAK-INS have dropped 40 per cent thanks to the pandemic but frauds are up by around the same amount, police have said.

Councillors on North Ayrshire’s fire and rescue committee heard of crime trends being affected by the pandemic with an increase in fraud, of 40.8 per cent in comparison to the five year average – however down 18.3 per cent on last year.

Meeting papers state: “Housebreaking is down 41.4 per cent compared to the same period last year, decreasing from 70 to 41 recorded crimes and is well below the five-year average.

“This reduction is attributed to a combination of large numbers of residents still working from home, but also conversely in the reopening of businesses meaning both residential and business premises are greater occupied than last year.”

Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain said: “We’ve changed [figures] ever so slightly from previous iterations because we felt that comparing this year against last year wouldn’t be particularly helpful simply because last year was such an anomaly, so we’ve moved to a five-year average, which would hopefully allow yourselves, as a committee, to hold us to better scrutiny.”