Fife’s “5 P” approach to tackling crime and antisocial behaviour is paying dividends, with the latest Police Scotland figures showing reductions in key areas.
Earlier this year Fife Division launched its major initiatives -
Operation Path to reduce violence;
Operation Principle tackling acquisitive crime which include crimes such as housebreaking;
Operation Prospect focusing on the misuse and supply of drugs;
Operation Prevail addressing antisocial behaviour; and
Operation Paramount promoting road safety.
The latest Management Information figures released by Police Scotland today cover the period April-September 2017 in comparison with the same six months last year, and show significant drops in overall violence, domestic housebreaking, and casualties on Fife’s roads. Antisocial behaviour has reduced slightly, and drug supply offences have increased in line with the proactive approach.
Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Colin Gall said: “Whilst the levels of crime overall in Fife have risen, this can be attributed to increases in offences such as sexual offences where we encourage reporting and have seen a rise in non-recent reports; changes to the reporting of crimes involving knives and other offensive weapons; more fraud offences in line with the rest of Scotland, with a particular increase in Fife of 'taxi fraud' and non-payment of fares; a significant increase in shoplifting; and our push to remove drugs from our communities.
“Our operations were chosen according to the priorities that local people have highlighted in our Your View Counts survey, as well as areas where we want to reduce crime and make Fife an even safer place to live, work and visit. The reductions in these priority crime types, and increase in information received to help us tackle drug offences, are welcomed but we are not complacent and our operations will continue apace.”
Operation Path has seen overall violence drop by over 100 offences, and the detection rate for violence stands at 99.2%, so almost every incident has resulted in a positive outcome. Officers are continuing to target high risk offenders and simple steps to help you stay safe when enjoying the festive season will be issued throughout December.
Operation Principle has helped to reduce break-ins to homes by 17.5% and to the lowest level on record for Fife. As part of the operation, the focus has moved onto keeping your property safe after dark with the longer nights now upon us. Enforcement opportunities to target known offenders are complemented by crime prevention work to make it harder for those intent on committing housebreaking to get into a home, business or outbuilding.
Targeting of those supplying drugs in Fife under Operation Prospect has seen a 19% increase in recorded offences. Drug dealing and misuse is the second highest priority for communities from the Your View Counts survey and we continue to encourage anyone with information about such activity in their area to report it to police or Crimestoppers so we can act.
The top priority for people in Fife, antisocial behaviour is down 73 incidents with vandalism also down by 50 crimes. Operation Prevail has helped to keep the number of damage reports low, in the 1600s compared to figures from 2007 which saw the number at over four thousand.
The number of people killed or seriously injured on Fife’s roads is down by 70, which is almost a quarter. Operation Paramount will continue to focus on tackling driving behaviours which can lead to collisions, such as use of mobile phones whilst driving and speeding.
CS Gall continued: “The support of our communities is central to our ongoing success in these areas. In addition to continuing our five Ps, we will be putting extra work and engagement into those crime types where we have seen an unwelcome rise.
“Fraud is very adaptable and takes advantage of new technological and societal opportunities. We are seeing more frequently people being persuaded to hand over life savings to cold callers who trick them into thinking they are from their bank, or going and buying vouchers to pass to fraudsters to pay a fake tax bill. These people are convincing, manipulative and use scare tactics to prey on not just the elderly and vulnerable but almost anyone they can send an email to or telephone.
“I would encourage everyone to keep safe online and look out for their friends and family. More details about the latest scams and how to protect your property is available on our website, and we continue to work with the banking industry and other partners to both prevent and investigate.
"The rise in shoplifting is concerning and we are working hard to analyse this offending and gather intelligence about those responsible so we can act jointly with our retail partners. Tackling shoplifting will be a key part of our festive safety campaign."