GOOD leadership has been the key to successful cracking of crime in recent years by Levenmouth police.
The local force had also become “trailblazers” with a series of initiatives, such as its community engagement model, and others.
Those views were aired by members of Fife Council’s Levenmouth area committee at its monthly meeting last week, as Fife Constabulary made the crossover to Police Scotland.
Presenting his final operational briefing under the old set-up, Chief Inspector Graeme Kinmond, Levenmouth’s new area commander under the new structure, said there would be “multi-ward” plans to deal with a range of matters, including anti-social and criminal use of motorbikes, road safety and domestic violence.
According to the report, offences in various categories were continuing to fall compared with the same period last year, said CI Kinmond, while detection rates were improving.
A “very significant result for the area” had occurred in mid-February, he added, when over £50,000 worth of Class A drugs was recovered from a car stopped on the Standing Stane Road. Four men, three of whom were from Levenmouth, appeared in court and one “key individual” was still in custody.
“This was a significant seizure of drugs that will had a positive impact for the local community,” added CI Kinmond.
There had been a quick resolution to “an unprovoked and not very pleasant” case of assault on a 38-year-old man near Steelworks Brae in Methil last month, while a two-day ‘Made From Crime’ initiative had taken place in mid-March across Scotland to target drug dealers and the profits they made from their activities.
Three Levenmouth addresses, one in East Wemyss and two in Methil, were searched under warrant and £6500 was recovered from the Wemyss address under the proceeds of Crime Act.
In Methil,three men and a woman were charged with offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Class A controlled drugs and Class A tablets valued at nearly £3000 were recovered from the households, along with £1210 in cash.
It was a positive two days for the area with good results through intellgence and public information leading to the action in Methil, said CI Kinmond.
There had been an “extreme focus” on juvenile offending, said CI Kinmond, and the “hard core” number of youngsters involved regularly in criminality had dropped from nearly 40 four years ago to around seven.
There had been a great “buy-in” by Kirkland and Buckhaven High Schools to discouraging juvenile offending, with both schools having high attendance rates, despite the area’s deprivation, and exclusion figures below the national average.
After the review, Councillor David Alexander said; ”What’s noticeable here is leadership is the key. Ten or 15 years ago, morale among the police was pretty awful and the public perception was not great.”
Today’s good results, however, didn’t happen by accident, added Cllr Alexander, and it was clear intelligence was a big factor, as well as strong leadership.
Councillor Andrew Rodger said the performance of police in Levenmouth was among the best, echoing the view of the public playing an important role and community engagement being a major reason.
“The police do a great job dealing with complex matters but the performance figures can not happen without the public, and people are findng it a lot easier to phone the police,” he added.
CI Kinmond said he had a very good team around him and he appreciated all the compliments – but it was not all “rose-tinted”.
“This is a very hard area to police – we don’t get it right all the time, but we are striving to do our best,” he said.
“There are a lot of serious matters still happening and a lot of serious individuals we will continue to target.
“But a lot are in custody and some have received significant sentences, and that helps us.”