Lothians and Scottish Borders data published
Published 25 May 2020
Serious assaults, robberies and housebreaking are among the crimes to fall within the Lothians and Scottish Borders, according to the latest figures.
Police Scotland has today released its Performance Report, introduced by Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, and Q4 Management Information data, which covers the period of 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
Tackling violent offences is a priority for the division and across East Lothian, West Lothian, Midlothian and the Borders, serious assaults fell by four per cent, with 11 fewer incidents, while the detection rate increased to 82.5 per cent.
In addition, robbery and assault with intent to rob fell by 16 reports – a reduction of 15 per cent. The detection rate increased to 75.3 per cent.
Overall, there has been a slight increase in crimes of violence within the Lothians and Scottish Borders. This is attributed to 68 crimes recorded under the new Domestic Abuse Scotland Act, which came into effect last year and created a single offence covering the full range of abusive behaviours, whether physical; psychological; financial or sexual.
The figures show a rise in sexual crime after extensive work undertaken in the division to encourage victims to report to police.
The location and layout of the division have previously made it a target for crime groups who enter the area and commit acquisitive crime.
Extensive work has been carried out alongside neighbouring Police Scotland divisions and other relevant partners to address this matter and various initiatives such as Operation RAC and Operation Greenbay have been under way to target acquisitive crime offenders.
As a result of this continued focus, there were 50 fewer domestic housebreakings.
Overall housebreakings, including commercial properties, sheds, garages and other outbuildings have reduced by over 19 per cent in compared to the same period last year and detection rates have increased from 25.9 per cent to 29.8 per cent.
A targeted approach by road policing officers has seen fatal road collisions fall by 50 per cent from 24 to 12. Total casualties from road crashes are also down by almost 30 per cent, decreasing from 999 to 705.
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, divisional commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, said: “It is encouraging to see crimes such as serious assault and robbery fall, as these are issues that we prioritise within the division.
“Tackling perpetrators of violence and supporting victims will always be a focus within the division whether within public or private space locations. As such the policing team across the Lothians and Scottish Borders is far from complacent and this focus will continue alongside our determination to reduce other forms of violence such as common assaults.
“Police Scotland will continue to pursue domestic abuse offenders and support victims. These crimes often happen in private or virtual spaces, but I want to echo the comments of DCC Taylor to anyone living in an abusive environment that we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact police, or report through a third-party mechanism and be rest assured, your report will be handled with the utmost sensitivity and professionalism.
“I am also pleased that housebreakings have decreased. This crime has a devastating impact on families and it remains the commitment of the team within the Lothians and Scottish Borders that we will prioritise domestic housebreakings with the aim of identifying and arresting offenders whilst also focusing on preventative methods.
“It also noteworthy that our commitment to improving road safety throughout the Lothians and Scottish Borders has paid dividends, with significant reductions in collisions.
“While there are positives from our fourth quarter figures, we remain focussed on delivering further improvements during 2020/21 and we aim to achieve this by strengthening our working relationship with key partners and enhancing our engagement with communities throughout the region.”
Please note, the Q4 report contains Management Information figures and these are not official statistics.