Community policing is way forward

Chief Inspector Jill Harper
Chief Inspector Jill Harper

CRIME in north east Fife has dropped by a staggering 22 per cent in the last year while detection rates at 60 per cent are now amongst the highest in Scotland.

The figures were recently confirmed by Fife Constabulary which said that crime across the Kingdom is now at the lowest level and almost half (49 per cent) of what it was when modern crime recording standards were set in 2004.

There were 797 incidents of crime in Fife in the last year, 4.3 per cent fewer than the year before.

Announcing the results and the Policing Plan for the year ahead, local area Chief Inspector Jill Harper set out her vision for the next year.

She said: “The results and achievements in respect of the Policing of north east Fife during the 2011-12 year have been outstanding.

“I am very proud of the efforts of my staff and the valuable work with our partners and the public in achieving further reductions in recorded crime.

“We added an extra four community officers in the area — which paid dividends in reducing crime in the community — while we also kept our focus on prevention and detection.

“We also found new ways to collaborate and prevent causes of crime, such as by forming a closer partnership with Bell Baxter High School, and has led to a reduction in crime.

“In addition, through effective community policing and targeting of repeat offenders there is now 32 per less youth crime.

“Vandalism has dropped by 24 per cent or 143 offences — in the last year, and by 52 per cent over the last three years, thanks to good local community engagement and partnership working.

“Similarly, domestic violence is down by 23 per cent, the theft of bicycles has dropped by over a half in the last three years and anti-social behaviour has also dropped by 26 per cent in the last year.

Chief Iinspector Harper said that community engagement meetings have helped address issues of concern specific to individual communities.

“Through community engagement meetings our community has told us where there are traffic related issues and we have addressed these with our Community Speedwatch initiative,” she said.

“Trialled in north east Fife, it has now been rolled out across the area and is being extended to other areas of Scotland.

“As we look forward, the 2011-15 Policing Plan provides an essential platform for prioritising the policing approach for the next period.

“It places a particular focus upon further strengthening community policing across Fife, building upon the success of partnerships established at a local level.”