March police report for Turriff & District ward

This report covers progress we have made in dealing with your priorities for the Ward 7 area from the 1st to the 31st of March 2021.

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 31st of March 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.

  • 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 has remained at a similar level.  Offences between persons who are in a Domestic relationship or who are known to each other continue to make up the majority of this offence type.
  • The number of reported drugs cases has maintained at a similar level.  Following some assistance from the CID proactive team a number of persons were stopped and found to be in possession of personal quantities of controlled drugs.  The execution of a Drugs Search Warrant by local officers resulted in the discovery and dismantling of a small scale Cannabis cultivation within Turriff.
  • The number of reported acquisitive crimes have increased slightly this month, and include the theft of a bicycle and theft of electrical equipment from a business premises in Turriff.  The number of online frauds / extortions has continued to rise right across the ward and is quickly becoming an emerging issue.  Residents are asked to be extra careful whilst carrying out interactions and transactions online, further guidance and advice can be found later in this report.
  • Road crime remains at a typical level for our area, with reports being submitted against drivers for driving with no MOT, failing to stop following a collision and speeding.

Online sextortion, fraudulent investment schemes, romance frauds and fake delivery emails continue to be the most common types of electronic frauds 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.  An easy way to check if an email is genuine or not is to inspect the actual email address it was sent from, most of the time it will be some random and jumbled address instead of a legitimate looking company email address. 

Further advice would be, not to click on any links provided in an email which is related to anything connected to money, as these will often transfer you to a fake website that is designed to look legitimate but will obtain your log in details for the real site, giving the criminal access to your account.  Instead, go to the genuine website that you have used before and log in as normal there, you will soon see if the content of the email is genuine or not.

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.

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 four drivers have been warned regarding excessive speeds and one driver was issued a fixed penalty ticket.

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.

Online safety / Fraudulent Schemes:

Even with active campaigns by Police Scotland and partners, reports of fraud continue to rise throughout the area.

You are again encouraged to read the information on the links below and push the message to TAKE FIVE to protect yourself and others against fraud.

  • STOP – Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • CHALLENGE – Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • PROTECT – Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Police Scotland.
Also on My Turriff
Police operation in Turriff sees vehicles seized and drivers charged

The below links provide further useful guidance on how we can protect ourselves in different situations

Rural Watch:

I am aware of concerns being raised by the local community of suspicious individuals attending at properties across the area, asking to look inside shed and outbuildings and generally acting suspiciously.  My advice to anyone encountering persons like this is to take note of the person’s description, accent, any description and registration number of the vehicle they drive.  Ask them politely to leave your property and call ‘101’ passing the details to report the suspicious behaviour.

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 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: https://member-registration.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk/173/Join

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:

https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/paths-and-outdoor-access/outdoor-access/your-rights-and-responsibilities/

COVID-19:

The end of March has signalled the start of relaxation of COVID restrictions with the Stay at Home message being replaced by Stay Local.

Despite the change, we encourage everyone to be mindful that restrictions are still in place and we will continue to respond to reports of breaches of these restrictions.

Police Scotland will continue to carry out high visibility patrols and deal with members of the public using the principle of the four E’s.

•           Engage with our communities,

•           Explain the current situation and guidance,

•           Encourage compliance wherever possible and

•           Enforce legislation where necessary.

The public can submit a report of a COVID breach to Police Scotland online through the following link – https://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/covid19/#

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

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

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 no one has 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.

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