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More dangerous weapons removed from Fife's streets

Operation Path, Fife’s ongoing anti-violence initiative, has played a crucial role in removing more dangerous weapons from streets within the Kingdom during the first quarter of 2020/21.

Police Scotland has issued its Q1 Management of Information Data for April-June 2020, which shows officers recorded an additional 6 incidents of carrying an offensive weapon, while maintaining the previous year’s number of 18 recorded incidents of handling a bladed weapon.

The force confirmed a national fall in violent offences, including serious assault. This reduction is largely attributed to the coronavirus lockdown, where licensed premises were closed. Analysis of violence figures indicates alcohol plays a significant contributing factor.

Within Fife, serious assaults fell from 63, to 47, a 25% reduction. Through Operation Path, continued enforcement activity and the use of stop and search, maintain positive downward trends in violence now lockdown restrictions have been eased.

Meanwhile, incidents where a bladed weapon was used in another crime also dropped to 16, compared with 24 the previous year. There were also six fewer reports of an offensive weapon being used in another crime.

Fraud has also risen nationally and Fife not been immune to this.

In total 266 reports of fraud were reported, compared with 167 during the same period last year. A large number of these offences are lined to internet based offending.

However, there has also been an increase in the number of detections.

Local policing teams throughout the Kingdom continue to tackle drug offences through targeted activity undertaken as part of Operation Prospect and as a result of proactive enforcement, 59 supply of drug offences were recorded in the first quarter, compared to 48 in last year’s first quarter.

In addition, 14 further crimes of possession of drugs were also recorded, rising from 269, to 283.

Operation Prospect gathers community intelligence to conduct targeted activity against drug dealers. Anyone who wants to report ongoing drug crime in their community is asked to come forward.

Antisocial behaviour has also risen by over 46 per cent and this is attributed to calls made to police relating to Covid-19 regulations.

Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan, Divisional Commander for Fife, said: “I want to pay tribute to the police officers and staff who, during these last few months, have worked tirelessly to maintain a business as usual approach to dealing with criminality all whilst supporting our communities through the ongoing public health crisis, maintaining Fife as a safe place to live, work and visit.

“The Q1 performance stats emphasise so much positive work is ongoing and this will continue.

“DCC Fiona Taylor has already stated that the recording period for the first quarter has come during an unprecedented time, not only for Police Scotland, but the world, and as such we shouldn’t be tempted to jump to conclusions about crime trends.

“We will be pragmatic in our response to the current rise in certain offences.

“However, there will be no complacency in our efforts to reduce crime further within Fife. Whether it is local officers providing high-visibility presence in our communities, or the specialist support of national units, Police Scotland is committed to building on the increased public confidence in policing that has been achieved this year.”



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