The Committee was told that there had been a reduction in robbery of 65% with 21 fewer victims which was combined with an increase in detection rates of 8%. Serious assaults were also down 21% with 10 fewer victims.
These figures relate to the first 10 months of Police Scotland (April 1 2013- January 31 2014)
The Committee were told that the number of reported common assault cases had increased by 10% from the five year average of 1048 to 1159. It was explained that although there were significant falls in the number of assaults in public places there was a rise in reported assaults from domestic abuse.
These crimes increased by 36% with 973 crimes being reported against the five year average of 715. The Committee was told that although this was a reflection of an increase in confidence of reporting such crime it was disappointing to see many crimes happening where victims should feel and be safe.
Detection rates for common assault had increased from 80% to 89% and complaints of disorder have fallen by 33.3%.
Chief Inspector Mike Whitford, Local Area Commander, said,
”Officers in Perth and Kinross have taken a pro-active stance in preventing and detecting common assaults. The use of Campaign Against Violence officers and initiatives such as Centresafe have been successful in driving down the number of complaints of disorder and the increased oversight of investigations into common assaults has resulted in an increased detection rate.
”Officers will continue to work with the managers of licensed premises to promote responsible drinking and drive down disorder and assaults at these premises.”
Property crime has also fallen over this period with decreases in shoplifting, vandalism and housebreaking.
In total, there was an 18% reduction in Group 1-4 crimes (comprising violent crime, sexual offences, dishonesties, vandalism, fire-raising and malicious mischief), compared with the five year average.
The Committee heard that reporting of sexual crimes had risen by 91% with 174 crimes being recorded against a five year average of 91. Members were told this increase was indicative of increased confidence of victims in reporting this type of crime and thorough and comprehensive investigation of these crime types.
Chief Superintendent Hamish Macpherson, Tayside Division Commander, said,
”I am pleased to present this report to the Community Safety Committee and proud of the officers and staff within Perth and Kinross who have worked tirelessly to prevent and detect crime in the area.
”Perth and Kinross continues to be a very safe place to live and work.
‘It is welcoming to see the increased reporting of domestic abuse and sexual assaults but disappointing that these crimes are as prevalent. This area will continue to be a focus for my officers in the forthcoming year. These are notoriously difficult crimes to solve, but my officers have achieved excellent results in these areas.”
Members heard that Police Scotland’s continued focus on road policing had led to large reductions in casualties with 26 fewer people killed or seriously injured and 286 less slight injuries as a result of road traffic incidents. Members were told that this focus had seen significant increases in the number of people charged with speeding, seatbelt offences and mobile phone offences.
Chief Superintendent Macpherson added,
”I make no apology for my officers concentrating on these offences because we are acutely aware that many more people die or are seriously injured on our roads than through any crime that comes to my attention.
”I am disappointed that so many people continue to flout the law in this area, the facts are simple; if you drive at the speed limit, wear your seatbelt and don’t use your mobile phone when driving, you will significantly reduce the chances of killing yourself or anybody else.”