November & December police report for Turriff & District ward

The November & December report from Police Scotland for Ward 7, Turriff & District

Ward 7 Community Council Report
TURRIFF AND DISTRICT
FYVIE, ROTHIENORMAN AND MONQUHITTER
AUCHTERLESS, INVERKEITHNY AND FISHFORD
METHLICK

Community Council Report

This report covers progress we have made in dealing with your priorities for the Ward 7 area from the 1st of November 2020 to the 26th December 2020.

This report aims to highlight emerging issues in your area, and to provide crime prevention advice and guidance to Community Council members and residents you represent.  Our focus is to reduce crime and disorder, help create safer communities and respond effectively to local concerns.

Community Policing Priorities

Community Council AreaNo. of Crime Reports
Turriff and DistrictNot supplied
Fyvie, Rothienorman and MonquhitterNot supplied
Auchterless, Inverkeithny and FisherfordNot supplied
MethlickNot supplied

Note: Please be advised that the numbers above relate to individual crime reports recorded by Police Scotland during the review period. A single crime report may contain multiple offences.

  • Antisocial behaviour, Violence and Disorder
  • Acquisitive Crime
  • Road Safety & Road Crime

In an attempt to move away from the more statistical based report we have previously provided, we have chosen to provide a more generalised view on crime in the area, but highlight specific incidents which have had a significant impact on the community as a whole.

Compared with the previous 2 months we have seen:

  • an overall reduction in violent crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • an increase in the number of report drugs cases.  This is believed to be in direct correlation with the increase in pro-active patrols in the area which has increased the number of stops and searches being carried out.
  • a decrease in number of acquisitive crimes reported.
  • road crime remaining at a typical level for our area.

During November in Turriff there was a report of a knife point Robbery within the town centre area, whereby an older woman was physically threaten with a knife and robbed of cash.  With the quick deployment of officers and with assistance from local CID officers the culprit was traced and arrested within 3 hours of the crime occurring.  The individual responsible is from out with the local area, they have been charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscals, and the individual in question has lawful restrictions in place preventing him from entering Turriff.

I would like to point out that this was an isolated incident, this type of crime is extremely unusual and Turriff is still a very safe community to live and work in.

Also during November within the Fyvie area a large scale cannabis cultivation was discovered and subsequently dismantled.  The North Aberdeenshire CID Proactive unit are carrying out enquiries into the individuals responsible for this.  The discovery of this cultivation is in direct response to information received from members of the local community and without your help it could have gone undiscovered for some time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the community who took the time to pass on their suspicions and help disrupt the supply of controlled drugs throughout our area.

Operation Cedar / Illustrious

Operation CEDAR continues to target driver behaviour with a focus on education of poor behaviours.  This core operation forms a key part of our local anti-social behaviour / driving campaign, Operation ILLUSTRIOUS and Operation ABACABLUE.

Operation Illustrious continues to provide dedicated speeding patrols across Formartine.  During this period fifteen drivers have been warned with four drivers receiving fixed penalty tickets regarding excessive speeds.

Community Engagement & Reassurance

Online safety:

This year has been an exceptionally taxing year for individuals, families and business across the planet with varying degrees of restrictions and lockdowns affecting everyone in different ways.

One aspect of life that has shown an increase is the use of online shopping and as we complete the festive season and enter the sales season it is anticipated that more and more people will be turning to online stores in order to fulfil their shopping needs.

Online criminals use increasingly sophisticated tactics in order to steal your personal information, passwords and banking details.  There are also countless online stores which advertise genuine goods but actually provide cheap reproductions.

I would urge everyone to take extra care online this winter, double check the products you are buying, ensure that there are no subtle spelling errors in the branding, check seller and product reviews if they are available and as always, if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.

The National Cyber Security Centre have launched their ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign which hopes to educate the public in ways to protect themselves whilst online.  The six essential behaviours to protect online accounts and devices are:

  • Use a strong and separate password for your email
  • Create strong passwords using three random words
  • Save your passwords in your browser
  • Turn on two-factor authentication
  • Update your devices and apps
  • Back up your data

For further information please visit: www.cyberaware.gov.uk

Sticking with the online theme for a moment, I would also like to highlight recent advice to the agricultural community in relation to online scams targeting the Basic Payment Scheme.

It is commonly known that a lot of business transactions in relation to the scheme, including application and progress updates are dealt with online, with them containing a great deal of personal and financial information.

It is increasingly common for cyber criminals to compromise email address, sending on genuine looking emails but with the nefarious purpose of scamming individuals which can lead to identify theft and financial loss.

If you are in any way unsure of an email you have received which asks you to take some form of action you would not normally take, or you are uncomfortable with a change of previously agreed arrangements, never just respond accordingly, always reconsider and if need be contact the sender by another means such as phone to confirm what is being asked.

Also on My Turriff
Police operation in Turriff sees vehicles seized and drivers charged

For more security information please visit: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/small-business-guide

Darker nights / Home security:

On Monday 21 December 2020 we experienced the longest night of the year and are now on the road back to summer.  That being said we still have numerous long dark nights ahead of us, which also bring added challenges.

Safety First – If you are going out for a walk, run or cycle, remember to wear bright clothing and/or reflective material so that you are more visible to other road users.  Try to avoid exercising on public roads during dawn and dusk, with the low winter sun driver’s vision can be comprised at times putting you at increased risk.

Home security – Darker nights provide more opportunity for opportunistic thieves to try and take what doesn’t belong to them.  By ensuring that your doors, windows and vehicles are locked, even when you are at home, it will significantly increase the likelihood of you not becoming a victim of crime.  Leaving internal and external lights of a varying timer when you are away is also a good way to discourage thieves. For more information please visit: https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/home-and-personal-property/secure-your-home

Suicide Prevention

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be fully understood, but all organisations agree that it will have had an effect on the mental wellbeing on our communities, particularly around personal resilience. 

Sadly we have seen a rise in suicide over the last few months across the region, which is devastating for families and friends, but also impacts widely across communities, as they come to terms with such a sudden loss.  There can be residual feelings of guilt or shame, caused by stigma (the feeling of being judged).

Helping starts with conversation, and not being scared to mention the suicide.  If someone is feeling that low, talking about suicide WILL NOT put the idea in their head, but it might release some of the pressure however.  Educate yourself around suicide, be kind, and ask people how they are feeling, and most importantly listen, you don’t have to be an expert or have the answers or give views, just be an empathetic ear.

Support information:

www.unitedtopreventsuicide.org.uk   – Scotland’s official new movement to prevent suicide

www.preventsuicideapp.com

Provides info for those affected by suicide, contact details for services in Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire and allows users to create their own safety plan. Available to download as a free phone app from your app store

SAMARITANS is a confidential 24hr emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland

Phone – 116 123

Samaritains.org

jo@samaritans.org

BREATHING SPACE 0800 83 85 87

Is a free and confidential phone line service

Mon – Thurs 6pm to 2am, Fri 6pm – Mon 6am (lines open 24hrs at weekends)

Rural Watch

North East Scotland Rural Crime and Safety Partnership has been set up to specifically target matters affecting rural areas, including road safety, acquisitive crime, agricultural safety, live-stock worrying and hare-coursing.

In addition to this and after recent consultation with the national Neighbourhood Watch and the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC), the Formartine Community Policing Team is keen to encourage local residents to sign up and use “Rural Watch Scotland”.  You can register online by visiting the Rural Watch website.

Police Scotland regularly use this service as a means to convey various information about our local area.  It has the benefit of being able to include more detailed information than is possible in a social media post, so it is really worthwhile signing up.  Sign up is free and doesn’t take long.

COVID-19

With new strains of the COVID-19 virus giving rise to an increasingly infective virus, as of Saturday 26th December 2020, the Scottish Government have placed us all into Tier 4 restrictions in order to prevent the spread and increase in cases that have been recorded across Scotland and the wider UK.

I would like to remind everyone that it is your personal responsibility to keep yourself and your families safe and up to date with current restrictions and measures put in place by the Scottish Government. 

Face coverings are mandatory in shops and other places where effective social distancing is unlikely.

The conditions for the hospitality industry have tightened once again, effectively closing down the industry with a few exceptions.  Alcohol is no longer allowed to be consumed on or off licensed premises.

I would like to remind the community that meeting with friends in a vehicle does not count as being outside and as such does not fall under the current rule of 6 from two households.  Current guidance states that you should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household and follow the safe travel guidance.

For specific tier 4 guidance please visit: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-4/

Further guidance can be found on the Scottish Governments website by following this link:

https://www.gov.scot/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance/

Additional information and details can also be found here: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

During this reporting period we have had cause to charge 4 individuals in the Turriff area and issue them with fines for breaching COVID regulations.  The individuals in question participated in a house party, whereby people from all over Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, from multiple households had gathered together inside.

If members of the community witness any suspicious activity it can be reported to the Police using the methods detailed below.

Thank you all for your cooperation during this difficult time, please stay safe and keep your families safe.

Sergeant Richard Barnwell

Formartine Community Policing Team

Date: 26 December 2020

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