More than two out of three housebreakings in East Ayrshire over the past year still haven't been solved, according to new figures.

Government statistics on recorded crime rates for council areas across Scotland reveal there were 170 housebreakings recorded in the area in 2022-23. 

Of those, 121 - or 71.2 per cent - have yet to be cleared up.

A crime or offence is regarded as “cleared up” where there exists a sufficiency of evidence under Scots law to justify consideration of criminal proceedings.

However, these stats are not exlcusive to East Ayrshire, with neighbouring South Ayrshire also having 65.9 per cent of housebreakings unsolved.

Labour MSP Colin Smyth says the figures expose the pressure policing is under, and warned the SNP-Green government against cuts in the area.

Mr Smyth, who represents the South Scotland region, said: “It is a disgrace that 7 in every 10 housebreakings in Ayrshire go unsolved.

“These shocking figures reveal the pressure police in our region are under, with years of SNP mismanagement pushing services to breaking point.

"Housebreaking can cause its victims both financial loss and serious distress, and it will add insult to injury that so many perpetrators get off scot-free.

“The SNP-Green government must rule out any damaging cuts to policing in Ayrshire, so we can trust that the police have the resources they need to tackle crime and keep our area safe.”

Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain said: “As reported crime returns to levels closer to that which was experienced prior to the pandemic, it is clearly a challenge to maintain detection rates while at the same time responding to growing and increasingly complex individual and community needs, especially considering the resourcing challenges resulting from the tightening financial environment.

“Our policing response is based on an assessment of threat, risk and harm to ensure the most vulnerable get the help they need and deserve and Police Scotland has driven high levels of operational competence for all our communities.

“We understand the impact that housebreaking has on victims. Housebreaking in Scotland remains significantly lower than the five-year average and compared to pre-pandemic levels. Housebreaking is not just people’s homes, it can also be garages, sheds and commercial properties.”

The SNP and Scottish Government have also been contacted for comment.