Policing Needs Shift in Dumfries and Galloway as Covid Restrictions Ease
The latest figures show increases across most crime groups including sexual crimes which have increased across the country. Locally, recorded incidents of indecent/sexual assault are up by 27 compared to the same reporting period last year according to figures released by Police Scotland.
Speeding offences are also on the increase compared to the same period when travel restrictions were in place. The area has recorded a significant rise from 621 to 925 but detection rates have also increased by 173.
Total crimes of housebreaking are up from 44 to 62 when during the same reporting period last year people were unable to leave their homes unless for strictly limited purposes.
Reductions have been recorded in the carrying of offensive/bladed weapons with six fewer reports and fire-raising is also down from 24 to 17. Motor vehicle crime is also down by 33 fewer incidents.
Divisional Commander for Dumfries and Galloway, Chief Superintendent Carol McGuire said: “We will use these latest statistics to inform local and targeted action plans to address the needs of our communitues. While their policing needs continue to be impacted by pandemic-related restrictions, the effect is different compared to the same period last year the most stringent measures were in place.
“As Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said, despite significant increases, we know sexual offending remains under-reported and I encourage victims to come forward.
“Reports of common assault are up by 75 across the area, including assaults on emergency workers which recently seen local officers punched, kicked, spat at and injured during the course of their duties. Officers and staff work with dedication and commitment to helping people and violence and abuse against them is not simply part of the job. Arrests have been made in connection with the incidents and the officers who were assaulted are being supported.”
Nationally, reported violent crime was up 12.8% year on year (13,951 to 15,743), but down 2.1% on the five-year average. The number of people killed in road traffic collisions rose to 24, up from 14 during the same period last year, but down around a third on the five-year average.
Public nuisance incidents reduced by 47.8% year-on-year (from 61,188 to 31,964), neighbour disputes fell by 20.6% (9,413 to 7,473) and noise complaints dropped 25.6% (18,632 to 13,856).
The reporting period also noted the highest number of reported sexual crimes and detections over the last six years, with increases in non-recent crime and recent crime driving the overall rise.
Meanwhile, anti-social behaviour, disorder, public nuisance, neighbour disputes and noise complaints all saw substantial reductions compared to the first lockdown period.
The Performance Report will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performance Committee on Wednesday, 1 September.