Police chief welcomes fall in Fife’s crime levels

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A decrease in crime levels in the Kingdom has been welcomed by Police Scotland’s Fife divisional commander.

Chief Superintendent Angela McLaren says the force has worked with communities to set priorities and this approach has helped reduce levels of offending.

Quarterly figures for the three months from April to June 2015 indicated overall crime dropped by 5.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The biggest reductions were in crimes of dishonesty – such as housebreaking, shoplifting, vehicle thefts and fraud – bail offences and the carrying of offence weapons.

Chief Supt McLaren also pointed out that violent crime remained at a low level, and people had been charged or reported for 98.9 per cent of the most serious offences.

And while there was a slight increase in sexual crimes and a rise in some drug offences, she highlighted the efforts of the force in these areas.

“We have dedicated specialist resources to investigate rape offences and provide support to victims and their families,” said Chief Supt McLaren. “Thanks to the Divisional Rape Investigation Unit the detection rate for such crimes has risen 15.6 per cent to almost 75 per cent.”

She continued: “Our communities have told us that while reductions in violent crime help them to feel safe, anti-social behaviour also causes concern. Working with partners we have carried out activities to target problematic addresses and hot spot areas.

“Your home should be where you are safest – and during these three months we’ve seen a 13.5 per cent reduction in housebreakings. Of those that have still occurred, we have charged or reported an offender in a fifth more cases.

“Drugs can blight an area and cause associated criminality and disorder, so linked to those reductions above is an increase in the number of charges for supplying or producing drugs, as we focus on those involved in organised crime.”

Another area of focus has been road safety. A total of 968 speeding offences were recorded during the three month period, marginally down on the previous year, and 81 people were detected driving under the influence of drink or drugs. People using mobile phones while driving, not wearing seat belts and driving without insurance or an MoT were also common offences.

Chief Supt McLaren said: “We spend a lot of time patrolling our large road network in Fife, making sure that all road users are safe, whether you’re walking your children to school, on your motorbike around the East Neuk at weekends, or driving on our busy main routes.

“Our communities have highlighted speeding and dangerous driving as concerns, and our continued work to reduce casualties has contributed to a reduction in people killed on our roads.”

Thanking the public for its ideas, feedback and support, she added: “Over the coming months Police Scotland will be consulting with its communities to ensure we are tackling those issues that affect you the most and set new priorities.

“Specialist resources will continue to work with our local officers who spend all day every day policing your neighbourhoods.”