February police report for Turriff & District ward

The February 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 to the 28th of February 2021.

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

In an attempt to move away from the more statistical monthly based report we have previously provided, we are now providing a more generalised view on crime in the area and will highlight trends and specific incidents which have had a significant impact on the community as a whole.

The statistical returns for the area will be provided bi-annually to the Area Committee by the local Area Commander.  These statistics will then be sent by the Area Committee to each Community Council twice a year in line with the frequency of those meetings.

Compared with the previous month we have seen:

  • Levels of violent crime and anti-social behaviour remain at a similar level.  Domestic related offences continue to make up the vast majority of this crime type.
  • The number of reported drugs cases has increased.  An increasing number of younger adults are being found in possession of personal quantities of controlled substances.
  • The number of reported acquisitive crime has reduced slightly this month, however online frauds / extortions remain at similar levels.
  • Road crime remains at a typical level for our area, with reports being submitted against drivers for Dangerous driving and failing to stop following a collision.

We continue to see the online frauds and extortions become a more consistent crime type being reported in our area.  I would encourage anyone who cares for vulnerable individuals to pay particular attention to their online activities as they appear to be some of the most susceptible to these type of crimes.

Online sextortion, fraudulent investment schemes and romance frauds continue to be the most common types we encounter locally.  The majority of the time those responsible aren’t even in the country which makes dealing with them and recovering funds extremely difficult.

Police Scotland always encourages safe use of the internet.  I would advise not engaging with persons online who you do not know or have not contacted yourself, do not provide any personal information that could allow them identify you, do not accept any video calls from persons you don’t know.  I would encourage parents of teenagers and young adults to have a serious conversation about internet safety and the consequences of actions online, which may have long lasting adverse effects.

Of particular note this month, we have had a report of a Theft by Housebreaking to a rural property in the Fortrie area, whereby various tools and chainsaws, valued to a mid-four figure sum were stolen from outbuildings.  I would like to remind everyone to remain vigilant and secure their property.  It cannot be underestimate how simple things like having effective outdoor lighting can assist is deterring criminals from targeting your property.  Taking note of serial numbers and /or marking individual pieces of equipment, either with permanent or UV marker pens can assist in identification at later stages of investigations.  This particular enquiry is still ongoing with positively lines of enquiry having been identified.

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 six drivers have been warned regarding excessive speeds.

Officers will be carrying out additional speed checks, specifically in the Ward 7 area, throughout March in order to tackle various complaints received from the community.

Community Engagement & Reassurance

Keep safe“Prevention is at the heart of everything Police Scotland does to keep people safe.”

The Keep Safe section of the Police Scotland website, found here: https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/, provides you with useful information on protecting your home and property, tips on staying safe when out and about, and a wealth of advice for victims of crime.

During the latter part of February we experienced some extreme wintery weather conditions across the area, with a vast number of people being caught in snow drifts and in dangerous positons, unable to get home.  For the most part the conditions within the towns were relatively fine but traveling a short distance out with the towns, conditions became dangerous very quickly.

It is my hope that these conditions are now behind us, but I would like to stress the importance of checking the news and pre-planning travel in conditions like these in the future.  The majority of those finding themselves trapped were undertaking journeys that were not necessary and they had no winter provisions to assist themselves, ultimately putting themselves and others in needless danger.

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Online safety:

The National Cyber Security Centre have launched their ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign which hopes to educate the public in ways to protect themselves whilst online. 

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

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.

Information regarding your rights and responsibilities in relation to outdoor access can be found here on the Aberdeenshire Council website.

COVID-19

On Saturday 26th December 2020, the Scottish Government placed the country into Tier 4 restrictions in order to prevent the spread of the virus.  There has been no change to these conditions as yet and everyone should be remaining at home and reducing contact with others as much as possible.

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.

With the more recent bout of fine weather I am expecting members the community to venture outdoors again and enjoy the weather.  I am fully supportive of this but please keep in mind the current guidelines regarding the number of people you can meet and the activities you are allowed to partake in.

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 period we have received a number of reports regarding suspected breaches of COVID regulations.  The majority of incidents were found to be within the confines of the regulations and guidance, with additional education and clarity being provided on a number of occasions.  I can advise that three persons have been charged with a breach of COVID regulation in the Ward 7 area this month.

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)

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

Sergeant Richard Barnwell

Formartine Community Policing Team

Date: 4 March 2021

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