Fife’s most senior police officer says new figures show that crime is dropping on a number of fronts in the area.
Former Divisional Commander Colin Gall was promoted to Chief Superintendent last month, and says that a rise in the number of sexual offences is due to increased confidence of victims to come forward.
CS Gall began his policing career with Lothian and Borders Police in 1988 before transferring to Tayside Police. His service has included work in community policing, CID, Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism. Prior to moving to Fife he was Detective Superintendent for Local Policing in Tayside Division with responsibility for public protection and criminal investigations.
He said: “Since I moved to Fife last year I have been very impressed with the hard work and dedication shown by officers and staff, particularly the way that local communities get involved with them both online and offline in a collective effort to keep the Kingdom safe.
“This is evidenced by the latest figures released today, which show that levels of crime have been maintained at the low levels of the last 5 years. I am delighted to report that between April 2016 and March 2017 there has been a drop in housebreakings by 10% (77 fewer cases), vehicle crime by 18% (138 fewer cases) and robberies by 18% (11 fewer cases).
“We have worked hard to ensure that victims have the confidence to report sexual crime to police and have observed a significant increase in the reporting of non-recent offences. Just under half of rapes now reported in Fife are historical in nature, this means they occurred over one year before being reported to police. To put this into context, we have had reports of sexual crimes that happened over 60 years ago. A 5% rise in sexual offences is a direct result of this increased confidence, with victims able to access help and support from specially trained officers.
“I am proud to say that the safety of roads in Fife has also significantly improved, with a 12.5% reduction, or 11 fewer people seriously injured or killed on our roads. We have focussed on visible policing and the education of road users, resulting in drops in speeding cases within the Division, whilst our resources target those driving carelessly or dangerously (an increase of 42.9% on last year).
“You are less likely to be a victim of a violent crime in Fife than last year, with a reduction in overall violent crime of 3%, or 136 charges. The increase of 8% in serious violence is of concern but we are already tackling this as a priority, matching our response to the Your View Counts survey where violent crime was identified as an area the public want us to address. We have dedicated resources proactively targeting violent criminals in Fife and each local area has an action plan, tailored to address the specific issues facing our diverse communities. We are using national resources such as the Operational Support Division and Safer Communities to bolster our response.
And the new Fife chief has even taken to Twitter to communicate better with the public.
He added: “I’m delighted both to be officially confirmed as Chief Superintendent for Fife Division, and also to be joining my local teams on Twitter, and I’m very much looking forward to engaging with our local community online.
“We will continue to use social media to inform our communities about the work we are doing together with our partners to ensure Fife remains a safe place to live, work and visit; to empower people to take simple steps to keep themselves and their property safe; and to seek the communities’ views on the policing service we provide. On my Twitter account I’ll be giving a flavour of the work I do as well as highlighting campaigns and initiatives we are involved in locally.”
You can now follow CS Gall on Twitter @ChSuptColinGall