Crime Returning to Previous Levels in Lothians and Scottish Borders as Restrictions Ease
Recorded crime is returning to previous levels within the Lothians and Scottish Borders, as the lessening impact of COVID restrictions continues.
Police Scotland has today issued its Q1 Management of Information data for the period of 1 April, to 30th June, 2021, which shows that within the division, recorded crime has risen from 4,304 reported incidents, to 4,779.
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “While restrictions relating to the pandemic continue to have an impact on the policing needs of our communities, the effect is different compared to the same period last year, when the first lockdown had only recently been introduced and the most stringent measures were in place."
This rise in recorded crime within the division is mirrored nationally, as the country continues its journey out of lockdown and across Scotland both violent crime and sexual crime have seen increased reporting, when compared to the previous year.
In the Lothians and Scottish Borders, the overall rise in violent offences, equates to 57 additional offences recorded, including one murder, when during the same period of 2020/21, there were zero.
Serious assaults have also increased from 57, to 79, while robbery and assault with intent to rob have gone up from 21, to 25.
There has, however, been a positive upturn in overall detection rates for violent offences, with 19 more crimes detected, in comparison with last year.
Much like the national picture, there has been an increase in fatal road collisions within the Lothians and Scottish Borders, with three reported this year, compared to one in the first quarter of 2020/21.
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, Divisional Commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders said: “The impact that the coronavirus pandemic had on this country cannot be underestimated and that is reflected in the picture of recorded crime we saw for much of last year, with numbers falling during much of 2020, as the public remained at home and unable to undertake a range of normal activities.
“The journey out of COVID restrictions has brought with it an expected rise in various recorded crime figures. However, I want to assure our communities that the Lothians and Scottish Borders remains a safe place to live, work and visit and, as DCC Taylor has eluded to, our first quarter data should not be compared in the same context as to last year.
“I recognise that the return to higher levels of recorded crime can be of concern to the public and we must ensure that we continue to dedicate resources accordingly to reduce offending, protect communities and build on successful approaches to tackling crime trends.
“With that said, I want to thank my officers and staff working within the division for their continued dedication and professionalism to policing during the most unprecedented and challenging times the country has had to endure in generations.”
The Performance Report will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performance Committee on Wednesday, 1 September.