The North East continues to be one of the safest places to live in Scotland, with strong detection rates and reductions in crime recorded during 2019/2020.
Year-end figures highlight a decrease in incidents of violent crime when compared to the previous year, as well as significant reductions in house-breakings (13 per cent) and motor vehicle crime (nearly 16 per cent). Total drug crime, in particular supply charges, increased significantly as a result of ongoing proactive activity to tackle the sale and supply of illegal substances, while working with partners to refer the most vulnerable into support services.
Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson said
Our police officers, police staff and Special Constables are committed to ensuring the North East remains one of the safest place to live in Scotland and our focus on prevention is absolutely key to our activity each day. The strong relationships we have with our partners cannot be underestimated, as well as the targeted operations launched continuously throughout the year to send a clear message that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in our communities.
Protecting people and supporting victims of crime is a priority and we will continue to work alongside our partners to help the most vulnerable people, strengthen our support and find solutions to issues that cannot be fixed by one agency alone. An incredible amount of innovative work was carried out last year to identify vulnerable people being exploited by criminals linked to drugs – known as ‘cuckooing’ – with many people identified as victims now engaging with support services. This preventative work has been recognised at a national level and we are committed to continuing similar work throughout the next year.
It comes as Police Scotland published its Performance Report, introduced by Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, and Quarter 4 Management Information figures for 2019/20.
In the North East, a total of 347 incidents were also recorded under the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 which came into effect on 1 April 2019. This innovative new law is making a significant difference – police officers are now trained to recognise the range of abusive behaviours, including coercive and controlling. Abusers now face the consequences of their abuse whether it is psychological, physical, sexual or financial. Nationally, almost 1,700 offences were recorded.
Chief Superintendent Thomson added
These are unprecedented times we are living in and the strong relationship Police Scotland has with the public has never been more valued. We have always taken great pride in the strong links we have with communities in the North East and despite the extraordinary powers police have recently been given to help keep people safe, I believe our relationships remain just as strong.
These year-end figures – which build on the very positive work over past years – serve as a benchmark for the year ahead and I would like to thank the public for your continued support as we work hard to keep people safe. As DCC Taylor said today, Police Scotland is here to help and support you in keeping safe in all aspects of your life.