Proactivity in Tayside Leads to Increase In Violence and Drug Crime
Police in Tayside recorded a near 12% increase in crimes linked to drugs and violence during the past year as the result of continued proactive activity to pursue offenders and keep vulnerable victims safe.
Alongside the demands of policing the COVID-19 pandemic, operations continued to launch throughout the region to send a clear message that illegal and unwanted behaviour would not be tolerated in our communities while the overwhelming majority of the population were asked to remain at home. Police Scotland’s 2020-21 Quarter 4 Performance Report - which covers a few days into the country’s first lockdown to the start of April this year – highlights an overall reduction in crime of 2%, but an increase in the number of Group 5 crimes recorded (4,669 in 2020/21, compared to 4,183 the previous year). More than 90% of these crimes have been detected so far, with numerous investigations still ongoing.
Group 5 includes crimes linked to drug supply, the seizure of offensive weapons and offences relating to serious and organised crime.
Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd said: “As well as taking on the unprecedented role of public health policing over the past year, we have remained committed to ensuring that our communities were safe places to live. Proactive operations have been ongoing, adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, to remove illegal substances and offensive weapons from our streets, and the recent launch of Operation Argonite in Dundee has already resulted in numerous drug seizures and charges as well as the identification of vulnerable victims being exploited by criminals.
“Alongside this, we have remained committed to identifying victims of ‘hidden harm’ crimes such as domestic and child abuse, which have increased as more people remained at home. The number of domestic abuse incidents reported in Tayside increased by more than 3% during the reporting period, while nationally almost 2,000 child sexual abuse crimes were recorded - 24.9% greater than the five year average. Fraud also continues to increase exponentially across Scotland and we will continue to work with our colleagues in national units, and our partners, to build capacity and capability to help keep people safe in the virtual world.”
He added: “The past year has been extremely challenging for so many, and the support we have received from the public has been extraordinary. This can be seen in the results of our recent public confidence in policing survey which highlighted an increase of 11 percentage points compared to the previous year pre COVID-19. As DCC Taylor said today, we will continue to report on changes to the policing requirements of communities as the restrictions ease and I can provide every assurance that activity will continue to keep your communities safe."
The 2020-21 Q4 Performance Report will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Tuesday, 8 June. The Performance Report and Management information can be found by clicking here https://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/our-performance/