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Continued rise in fraud detection in Forth Valley

The continued rise in fraud offences throughout Scotland has seen officers in Forth Valley improve their solvency rates during the first quarter of 2020/21.

Police Scotland has issued its Q1 Management of Information data, which shows that between April and June 2020 incidents of fraud have risen by more than 50% in compared to the same period last year.

In total, 250 frauds were recorded, where as in April, May and June 2019, 118 were recorded.

This escalation in the number of fraud incidents within Forth Valley comes as Police Scotland confirmed a national rise in such crimes.

However, while some areas have seen this rise coincide with a decrease or consistent level of detection, Forth Valley has increased solvency from 48 to 58, meaning 10 additional reports to the Procurator Fiscal.

Another area that has seen a large rise in reported crime is antisocial behaviour, which has increased by almost 52 percentage points. In total, 8341 incidents were recorded, compared with the 5453 last year.

Analysis of this rise continues, however, many of the new reports received are linked to calls from the public over suspected breaches of COVID-19 regulations.

Local policing teams in Falkirk, Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire are continuing to work within their communities to reduce antisocial behaviour and similar offending.

Across Forth Valley there are many rural areas, including the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and police are committed to preserving the local wildlife in these areas and actively targeting wildlife crime offenders.

During the first quarter of 2020, a total of 25 wildlife crimes were recorded, compared to 9 during the same period of 2019. All but one of these further offences came as a result of a single incident of hare coursing in Stirlingshire at the end of April.

As a result of a thorough investigation, four people were reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Chief Superintendent Alan Gibson, Divisional Commander for Forth Valley, said: “While I recognise that any rise in crime figures can cause concern to our communities, I want to reiterate DCC Fiona Taylor’s recent comments about when this data was captured.

“This information was recorded during an unprecedented time for all of us due to coronavirus and we must resist the urge to make swift conclusions about crime trends.

“The public in Falkirk, Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire can rest assured that local officers will continue to work tirelessly to address any and all reports of criminal activity.

“Likewise, a range of specialist national resources can and will be utilised to address Scotland-wide issues impacting upon our division, for instance, fraud.

“Confidence in policing has risen and we are committed to building on this confidence further by effective and engaging police action.”


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