Opportunistic and violent crimes down, drugs seizures rise

House-breakings dropped 17% and were down almost 26% on the five-year average.
House-breakings dropped 17% and were down almost 26% on the five-year average.
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Opportunistic and violent crimes have "significantly" reduced in Aberdeenshire, while officers have recovered more than £500,000 worth of drugs and seized almost £300,000 in cash as efforts continue to ensure the region remains one of the safest places in Scotland.

From April 2016 to March 2017 all forms of dishonest and opportunistic crimes decreased compared to the same period the previous year, while a "substantial" reduction of almost 13% was recorded compared to the 5-year average.

In particular house-breakings dropped 17% and were down almost 26% on the 5-year average. Vehicle crime also reduced by more than 28% compared to figures for the last five years.

In addition violent crime is down 6.5% on the previous year and 5.6% against the 5-year average thanks to the sustained and ongoing efforts of Operation PINE, the Division-wide response to tackling unwanted anti-social behaviour.

More than 200 drugs search warrants were also executed across Aberdeenshire during the period in question, with more than £560,000 worth of controlled drugs recovered and almost £300,000 seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson presented the latest police performance figures to Aberdeenshire Council on Thursday as part of Police Scotland's commitment to local scrutiny.

He said: "These figures are testament to the very positive work ongoing within the Division to ensure Aberdeenshire remains one of the safest places in the country.

"I would like to commend the work of police officers and staff which has contributed to these positive results, which included detection rates being 3% higher than they have been for many years.

"We can never be complacent though and will continue to focus on local priorities to make the area a hostile environment for all types of crime. I am extremely appreciative of the continued support we receive from the public and from our partners to do this, and I would ask that we continue to work together to make Aberdeenshire an even safer place to live."

Several rural crime initiatives have also been launched during the reporting period, with sustained activity resulting in numerous charges and a number of stolen items of machinery being recovered, sometimes in locations out with the North East.

In addition there has been a decrease of 23% in people being seriously injured on roads. Divisional Roads Policing Units continue to support local Community Policing Teams to deliver the highly-visible Operation CEDAR (Challenge, Educate, Detect and Reduce) which includes exploring opportunities to ensure that motorists remain safe on the 6,563 miles of road networks within Aberdeenshire.

Chief Superintendent Thomson added: "Rural communities are generally safe places in which to live and work however the nature of the environment and way of life means it can be easy to become complacent about how likely you are to become the victim of crime.

"We will continue to work with all our partners, communities, farmers, land owners and residents in rural areas, villages and towns to ensure they are kept as safe as possible and would ask that you also take precautions to reduce your chances of being involved in crime,.

"Local policing is at the heart of what we do and is why we are committed to working hand-in-hand with the public – we want to provide a high standard of service which delivers effective policing, tailored to meet your local needs."