More weapons seized as drugs and drink and drug offences rise in Lanarkshire during lockdown
Proactive action by officers in Police Scotland’s Lanarkshire division saw an increase in the number of offensive weapons being seized and drugs offences rise during lockdown.
Drink or drug driving also increased compared to the same period in 2019.
Management Information figures show that between the start of April and the end of June 2020 officers seized 83 offensive weapons – an increase of 9 from the previous year’s figure of 74.
The number of people detected for being under the influence of drink or drugs while driving went up – from 229 to 396 (73%) and the number of offences for being in possession of drugs increased from 364 to 439, or 21%.
As criminals, particularly in the digital and cyber spaces, took advantage of the pandemic to exploit victims, the number of fraud offences also rose from 378 to 545 or 44%.
Chief Superintendent Alan Waddell, Police Scotland’s Divisional Commander for Lanarkshire, said:
“Despite the country being in lockdown, officers and staff right across the Division adjusted and responded in the most dynamic way. They continued to deliver the best possible service to help keep our communities safe in what is a challenging and changing environment. We are not able to do this alone and I am grateful for the support of the public and our partners.”
The figures are contained in Police Scotland’s Management Information figures which inform the Q1 Performance Report, introduced by Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, which also show that public confidence in policing was up by 20 percentage points during the first quarter of 2020/2021.
Chief Superintendent Waddell added:
“This has been an extraordinary period, and as DCC Taylor has said today, it is too early to draw any conclusions about long-term crime trends.
“However, Police Scotland remains absolutely committed to taking weapons off our streets and targeting those who exploit the most vulnerable people in our communities by dealing in the misery of drugs.
“There may have been fewer cars on the roads, but it is disappointing that there are still drivers who risk their own life and the lives of others by driving under the influence of drink or drugs. The devastating impact of drink and drug driving on victims, communities and drivers themselves cannot be understated and Police Scotland officers have remained on proactive patrols throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am also urging the public to remain vigilant as during his period we saw targeted attempts by fraudsters to adapt well-known techniques to include references to COVID and we continue to work with all our partners and pursue those who set out to cause harm.”