CRIMES in Fife have almost halved over the past seven years and last year alone saw a drop of almost 800, according to new statistics.
At the same time, the detection rate has risen to 60 per cent - one of the highest rates ever achieved by a police force in Scotland.
Fife Constabulary’s latest crime figures, released by Assistant Chief Constable Tom Ewing, show that in 2011-12 there were 797 fewer crimes committed in Fife compared with the previous year, representing a drop of 4.3 per cent.
Recorded crime fell by 49 per cent in the space of seven years and is now at the lowest level since modern crime recording standards were first set in 2004.
At the most serious end of the spectrum, there was a decrease of 25.8 per cent in the number of crimes of violence recorded (down to 348 compared with 469) and this was accompanied by a large increase in the detection of these crimes, which is up from 87 per cent to 97.4 per cent.
Assistant Chief Constable Ewing revealed that it had also been another record year for controlled drug seizures in Fife, with £1.69 million of class A drugs and £2.59 million of class B drugs recovered.
A total of £183,000 of cash was also seized from people involved in the distribution of controlled drugs.
There was also been a significant fall in anti-social behaviour offences recorded, with 2269 fewer crimes (7151 compared with 9420).
Cases of domestic abuse are also down thanks to improvements in the way the issue is handled, and safety on the roads in Fife has improved too. During 2011-12 there were 12 fatalities (down from 13 in 2010), 88 serious injuries (138 in 2010) and 465 slight injuries (593 in 2010).
Of these, there were 63 child casualties, down from 93 the previous year.
Assistant Chief Constable Ewing said: “These record low crime figures show how Fife Constabulary is delivering for the people in our communities.
“Recorded crime is now almost half the level of seven years ago and this has been achieved by responding to community needs, supported by visible police patrols and meaningful engagement with all the communities of Fife.
“I am particularly proud of the officers who have delivered this improvement at a time when Fife Constabulary also committed so many resources to dealing with Operation Mercer, the largest operation in the force’s history and which led to the conviction of three men for the murder of Toby Siddique in Glenrothes.”
Meanwhile, the policing plan for north east Fife was unveiled by Chief Inspector Jill Harper in St Andrews on Wednesday.
Full details will appear in next week’s Fife Herald and St Andrews Citizen.