Officers have continued to protect the most vulnerable people in the North East as confidence in policing increased to record levels, according to new figures.
Q1 Performance figures 2020-21 released today – which cover the period April to June – highlight a decrease in total crimes (4,937 compared to 5,392 the same period last year). Meanwhile, overall detections increased to 65.3% of reported crimes, up from 61% compared to the same period last year. The figures come as Police Scotland published its Performance Report, with a foreword by Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, revealing today that public confidence in policing was up by 20 percentage points during the first quarter.
High-visibility policing and proactive activity have been key throughout this challenging period to identify and protect victims of crimes such as online child sexual abuse and domestic abuse, with crucial support provided by all partners to help those most vulnerable. The potential for suppressed vulnerability remains a priority for policing, and we urge communities to remain vigilant of those at potential risk and to raise any concerns to Police or partners.
North East Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent George Macdonald said
Once again, I would like to take this chance to thank the public for your support over the past few months and assure you that we are committed to building on the increased public confidence in policing. As acknowledged by DCC Taylor, police officers, staff and Special Constables have worked tirelessly throughout the ongoing health pandemic to help the people of Scotland who, in turn, have shown us overwhelming support.
The first three months of 2020-21 were an unprecedented time for us all, therefore care must be taken to avoid assumptions around crime trends. While decreases in violent and acquisitive crime, as well as a reduction in road casualties, are all to be welcomed, this report covers a relatively short period of an extraordinary time and we must be pragmatic in our response to the current changes in certain groups. Context must also be applied to the significant rise in anti-social behaviour incidents reported (10,249 compared to 6,237 the same period last year), of which the majority were linked to calls from the public over suspected breaches of COVID-19 regulations.
A significant rise in frauds was also recorded during the Quarter 1 period in comparison to the same period last year (169 incidents to 381) which is completely unacceptable albeit sadly unsurprising. During the coronavirus pandemic we have seen fraudsters adapt well-known scamming techniques to take advantage of people’s fears, therefore we will continue to issue warnings in relation to scams alongside our partners and other organisations, and ask the public to remain vigilant of such activity. Please visit the Police Scotland website for information and advice.
Chief Superintendent Macdonald added
Certain aspects and demands on policing may have changed over the past few months, however the priorities of North East Division have certainly not – our officers, staff and Special Constables will continue to help keep our communities safe, protect the most vulnerable people and play our part in supporting communities through this challenging time.