Serious assaults and robberies have decreased in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire, according to new figures released by Police Scotland.
The number of serious assaults fell by almost nine per cent in the division between 2018/19 and 2019/20 and the detection rate rose from 75.9 per cent to 82.4 per cent year-on-year. There were 17 cases of robbery and assault with intent to rob in 2019/20, 10 fewer than in the previous 12-month period. Detection rates also increased for those crimes.
Proactive work by police in targeting knife crime and drugs in the division led to an increase in the number of offences recorded for carrying of offensive weapons and the supply of drugs. Officers also successfully detected more of these offences year-on-year, with 2,404 Group 5 offences detected in 2019/20, compared with 2,212 in 2018/19.
The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, which was introduced on 1 April 2019, created an offence covering the full range of abusive behaviours, whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual.
Some 55 offences under the Act were recorded by Police Scotland in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire in 2019/20. In 50 cases, the victim was female. In five cases, the victim was male.
It comes as Police Scotland published its Performance Report, introduced by Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, and Quarter 4 Management Information figures. They show that 1,681 offences were recorded across Scotland in the first year of DASA. A total of 1,158 offences were detected in that period.
The introduction of the domestic abuse legislation led to a slight rise in the overall figures for violent crime in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire in 2019/20.
However, when the new offences under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 are removed, non-sexual crimes of violence in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire fell by more than 10 per cent, from 249 in 2018/19 to 222 in 2019/20.
The Quarter 4 report also showed a rise in fraud in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire, from 167 offences in 2018/19 to 285 in 2019/20. This reflects a Scotland-wide increase in cyber-enabled offences and tackling this is a key priority for the service.
Chief Superintendent John Paterson, divisional commander of Argyll and West Dunbartonshire, said: “The safety of all of our citizens is a priority and we are committed to protecting those who are vulnerable or victims of crime.
“Police Scotland officers and staff are out in communities across our division every day, supported by national specialist divisions on issues such as domestic abuse and cybercrime. “We have listened to the concerns of those who live in our division and I am pleased that through targeted, intelligence-led proactive policing, we have succeeded in taking more weapons and drugs off our streets.
“In line with our policing plan, violence and drugs are priority areas for us and we remain focused on ensuring that people do not carry weapons or supply illegal substances. Where they do, they will be caught and charged.
“Our proactive approach has also seen a rise in detection rates for serious assaults and robberies, while our officers have worked hard to support victims of domestic abuse in line with the new legislation.
“We know that crime increasingly happens behind closed doors and as DCC Taylor said today, private and virtual spaces are not safe places for everyone.
“I recognise that and want people in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire to know that we are here to help, particularly at this time.
“Anyone who is at risk, or who is concerned about someone else who may be at risk of harm, should come forward and report this to us. We will listen, investigate and ensure appropriate support is provided.”
Please note, the Q4 report contains Management Information figures and these are not official statistics.