Operation Tusker - curbing seasonal crime increase

Reducing crime before it happens
Reducing crime before it happens

The climax of a month-long operation to combat seasonal crime and anti-social behavior in the region took place at the weekend.

Glenrothes police officers working in pairs carried out a series of stop-and-search activities and other related procedures in what they called “preemptive measures” to stop crime and disorder before it happened.

On its launch at the beginning of May, lead officer Superintendent Dougie Milton explained the thinking behind the initiative: “Analysis of crime trends clearly indicates an increase of incidents during May so we are providing a proactive response to address these issues.”.

He added: “The emphasis centres on reducing violent crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour including alcohol related violence.”

We joined Inspector Paxton and his team on Friday evening as they put Operation Tusker into practice, putting high-visibility patrols on the streets between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Early evening engagement with groups of youths in various ‘hot spot’ locations where they are likely to congregate across the Glenrothes area are a key part of the operation’s success.

“It’s all about managing the situation early,” Inspector Paxton explained.

“We have a number of known areas where underage drinking occurs and if left unchecked we have seen in the past the possibility for the situation to escalate and that’s what we want to prevent.

“Alcohol and drug use are two of the main reasons for trouble but if we can take those out of the equation then that greatly reduces the risk for criminality.”

The new approach certainly seems to be delivering on its remit.

Recent crime reports for the town point to a reduction in vandalism and malicious mischief (down 12 per cent), street drinking detection (down 14 per cent) and incidences of serious assaults (down 38.5 per cent).