Police say crime detection rates rise

A new report has revealed that the detection rate for shoplifting in Kirkcaldy has gone up from 88.9 to 90.6 per cent. Pic: Lisa Ferguson.
A new report has revealed that the detection rate for shoplifting in Kirkcaldy has gone up from 88.9 to 90.6 per cent. Pic: Lisa Ferguson.
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Anyone thinking of committing a crime in Kirkcaldy should go elsewhere.

That was the message from councillors at the town’s area committee which held its monthly meeting in the Town House on Tuesday afternoon.

Cllr Hamilton praised the teamwork which saw the Stagecoach bus service 33B re-instated after incidents of vandalism.

Cllr Hamilton praised the teamwork which saw the Stagecoach bus service 33B re-instated after incidents of vandalism.

The comments came after Inspector Nicola Black presented a report on policing priorities in the Kirkcaldy and Burntisland ward areas from January to October 2017.

The report, which went before members, revealed new figures which showed that detection rates for crimes of: robbery, assault, drugs supply, production and cultivation, housebreaking, shoplifting, vandalism, motor vehicle crime and consuming alcohol in a public place had gone up between April and September 2017 compared with the same period last year.

Councillor David Ross said: “These figures show that if you are involved in an assault or a robbery you are likely to get caught. We need to congratulate the police on these improved detection rates.”

Cllr Neil Crooks, committee convener, also commended local officers: “It is pretty clear from the report that anyone who commits a crime will be detected by police who are doing a great job in Kirkcaldy. The message from today should be that anyone thinking of committing a crime here should go elsewhere.”

The reported also noted how the Kirkcaldy area policing plan had been targeting: speeding vehicles, violence and anti-social behaviour and drugs misuse across all the area wards.

Councillors also raised concerns they had received from residents about: reporting crimes, anti-social behaviour, CCTV cameras and drugs misuse.

David Ross and fellow councillor Kathleen Leslie raised concerns about locals reporting crimes using the 101 telephone number.

Cllr Ross said: “There is a perception that reporting crimes to 101 is not getting the appropriate response,” while cllr Leslie said: “I have been told that if one person calls several times it is only logged as one call when it should be treated as a number of calls.”

Inspector Black said: “Individual calls to 101 will be logged separately and if the same person calls again it is added to the call already made, although it depends on what the incident is.”

She added: “Sometimes there can be glitches but as long as we are made aware of them we can take action.”

Cllr Ross also highlighted the ongoing anti-social behaviour issues at the shops in Dunearn Drive but said the problem had diminished compared with last year.

Councillor Judy Hamilton also praised the team work that resolved the recent issue of vandalism involving a Stagecoach bus in the town.

Three instances of windows being smashed led the bus company to change the route of the 33B service in the evenings to miss out stops in the Wilson Avenue area for six days.

But Stagecoach decided to re-instate the evening service as there were no other reported vandalism incidents on other buses operating in Wilson Avenue during the diversion period.

Cllr Hamilton said: “This is testament to the team work which saw the police and all parties getting involved to get the situation resolved really quickly.”

Meanwhile, councillor Gordon Langlands questioned the quality of CCTV images but Inspector Black said in recent cases CCTV footage had been successfully used to catch offenders. Councillor Alistair Cameron raised the issue of drugs misuse.

Inspector Black said: “The drugs problem has remained consistent over a number of years but the main issue is cannabis cultivation, both Fife-wide and nationally. We continue to get reports and act on them.”