Fife sees improved detection rate for sexual offences as anti-social behaviour rises during Covid restrictions
Police officers in Fife have targeted perpetrators and successfully detected more sexual crimes, according to new figures.
Police Scotland has today issued its Q3 Management Information data for the period of April 1, to December 31, 2020, which shows that there were 53 fewer reports of indecent/sexual assaults, compared to the same period last year.
In addition, the division also saw the number of communicating indecently offences fall from 82, to 76, while there was also four fewer offences relating to the taking, distributing and possessing indecent images of children.
Overall, there has been a rise in detection for sexual crimes within the Kingdom, including a 15 percentage point increase in rape detections.
In the third quarter of 2020/21, one murder was recorded, which is three less than during the same period 2019/20.
Despite this reduction, there have been 194 more reports of common assaults and six more incidents of serious assault with the detection rates for both increasing by nearly six and five per cent respectively.
The coronavirus restrictions in place throughout 2020 have resulted in large numbers of Fife’s population remaining at home and this has likely played a part in the fall of domestic housebreaking.
However, all forms of housebreaking incidents, including non-domestic and attempted break-ins have reduced, with 171 fewer offences having been reported this year.
This positive reduction has not led to a fall in the detection of domestic housebreaking. Compared to previous years, even with the reduction in reporting, the detection rate for domestic housebreaking has increased by nearly eight per cent.
There has been a continued rise in fraud offences within Fife, and this is mirrored nationally, as is the rise in public-reported antisocial behaviour.
In total, 5947 more crimes of anti-social behaviour have been recorded in the division, significantly impacted by anti-social behaviour related calls linked to the ongoing pandemic.
Road safety remains a priority and the number of casualties fell by 117, while there were also three fewer fatal collisions on Fife’s roads albeit there is a recognition that during periods of 2020 significantly less motor vehicles were upon the Kingdom’s roads.
Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan, Divisional Commander for Fife, said: “Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the officers and staff within Fife Division have continued to work tirelessly to keep Fife a safe place to live, work and visit, and I am encouraged by the reduction in various offences we’ve observed.
“Where crimes have been reported though, in particular surrounding crimes of violence and domestic housebreaking, Fife Division are highly successful at apprehending those responsible.
“It is too early to assess the full impact Covid-19 has had on recorded crime and we must not become complacent in our efforts to reduce crime within the Kingdom further.
“Fife’s Public Protection Unit continues to target perpetrators of sexual crime and this has proven extremely successful in enhancing our detection rate and reducing various offences.
"I recognise that some forms of sexual crime remain under-reported and would urge victims to come forward so we can investigate and bring those responsible to justice.”