Link between shoplifting increase and drugs in Kirkcaldy
Almost Â£360,000 of drugs, including cocaine and cannabis, have been taken off the streets of Kirkcaldy since the beginning of the year.
And a “worrying” rise in shoplifting over the past few years goes “hand in hand” with the increase in drug misuse according to the police.
But they say measures are being taken to deal with this, with a sergeant appointed specifically to look into the issue.
Councillors heard that since the beginning of the year there had been two major drugs seizures in the Kirkcaldy north ward.
In April a number of people were reported to the Procurator Fiscal following searches of premises where over £100,000 of Class A and B drugs were recovered. Then the following month searches uncovered a further £150,000 of drugs including MDMA, cocaine and cannabis.
Inspector Nicola Black, community inspector for Central Fife Division, described the rising trend in shoplifting as “worrying” when questioned by councillors at the Kirkcaldy area committee.
And she urged the community to continue to report any suspicious goings-on to help catch those responsible, saying that officers would continue to carry out proactive house searches where sufficient information was received to obtain a search warrant.
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the committee, said: “These big hits are made because the public provides the right information at the right time for the police to act.
“When you’re taking cocaine off the streets in Templehall in particular, it has a positive effect on the community. They see action in response to the calls they are making and I want to say thank you on their behalf.”
In response to an observation from Councillor Alistair Cameron that shoplifting was increasing, particularly in ward 11 where the Fife Central Retail Park is, Inspector Black said there was a definite correlation between drugs and shoplifting.
“They are shoplifting to fund their habit, and this is something we have been engaging with the retailers to see what can be done.
“Coupled with the fact that it is a challenging time for retailers, they are having to take measures to reduce their security to save money.
“I have appointed a sergeant to look at these issues.”