Dishonesty offences have significantly reduced within Fife, 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 1 April, 2019 to 31 March, 2020.
These demonstrate that within the Kingdom, housebreaking, vehicle crime and shoplifting have all fallen from the previous year.
Within the division, overall housebreaking is down by almost four per cent, while there have been 23 fewer break-ins to homes, equating to a 7.4 per cent decrease. Detection rates for all housebreaking offences has risen by almost 12 percentage points.
In addition there have been 89 fewer vehicle crime offences reported, including thefts from cars and vans and break-ins to vehicles. This represents a fall of over 12 per cent.
Tackling acquisitive crime and dishonest offences has been a long-standing priority within the Kingdom, and incidents of theft and shoplifting have both also reduced by 6.6 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively.
One area that has, however, seen a considerable rise in recorded crimes is fraud, which has risen by 212 reports, or 38 per cent in the past 12 months.
A rise in fraud offences is mirrored nationally, with recorded incidents up by 31 per cent, with many of them cyber-enabled.
Overall violence was up by 64 incidents compared to 2018/19. However, these figures include 135 charges under the new Domestic Abuse Scotland Act, which created a single offence covering the full range of abusive behaviours, whether physical; psychological; financial or sexual, when brought into effect last year.
If these reports are not considered, overall violent crime has reduced by almost 14 per cent and the detection rate has risen.
Officers within Fife will continue to tackle violent crime and remove violent offenders from the streets through enforcement activity carried out as part of Operation Path. This includes the use of stop and search.
One issue that has been regularly identified as a policing priority is antisocial behaviour. Through Operation Prevail, a number of partnership initiatives and police enforcement activity has seen ASB offences fall by almost 10 per cent, or 2561 reports.
There were also 179 fewer incidents of vandalism and 41 less fire-raising reports – reductions of 6.5 per cent and 27.3 per cent respectively.
Road safety is another priority with Fife Division and further work is being planned to make the Kingdom road network safer for all users.
Operation Paramount is the divisional response to improving road safety and Road Policing Officers will continue with daily patrols on the road network to identify motoring offences and encourage safe and responsible driving.
Since late 2018, a police-led, multi-agency working group to reduce the number of people going missing in Fife, has been in operation.
This group meets regularly to discuss ways of improving information-sharing between partners and how to educate and deter people from leaving facilities such as hospitals.
As a result of this, there have been 158 fewer reports of missing people, which is a reduction of four per cent.
Police in Fife Division also continue to conduct proactive enforcement activity in order to identify offences such as possession of weapons and illegal drugs.
Resources used under both Operation Path and Operation Prospect are regularly deployed to target perpetrators of violence and drug crime, respectively and the detection rate for our proactive work now sits at 94 per cent, having risen by more than 4% since 2018/19.
Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan, Divisional Commander for Fife, said: “I am really encouraged by the Q4 figures, which show that our considerable efforts to tackle various local policing priorities are paying dividends.
“With housebreaking, vehicle crime, theft and shoplifting having all fallen through our Operation Principle activities, I hope this sends a very clear message that the Kingdom is not a soft target for acquisitive crime.
“Nevertheless, I recognise that a sizeable portion of our communities have been impacted by fraud and this is an area where Police Scotland will continue to dedicate time and resource. The benefit of a single force means local officers can call upon the assistance of specialist national resources such as the Economic Crime Unit and Internet Investigation Unit, which can help us identify online scams, raise awareness and actively pursue fraudsters.
“I also want to take this opportunity to praise the courage of those who have come forward to report domestic abuse. I welcome the rise in reported domestic offences, as these have, for so long been very under-reported crimes. As DCC Taylor has discussed, these crimes typically take place in private or virtual spaces, but that does not mean those responsible are immune to justice. Please come forward so we can provide you with all the assistance and support you require.
“What I want to reaffirm, is that violence will not be tolerated and through Operation Path we will target perpetrators of violent crime and remove them from our communities.
“What we must accept, however, is that further work is required to reduce road casualties on Fife’s roads and a Road Policing Plan for the A92 has already been devised for the North East Fife area. This will run over the coming months and will focus on detecting speeding offences.
“We also support a number of road safety education campaigns, aimed at encouraging safe driving practices in younger people. These include Drivewise and Safe Drive Stay Alive, which have been operating within the Kingdom for a number of years.
“Community officers in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes recently initiated a partnership road safety campaign with 34 schools across and launched competitions for the pupils to design a banner in regard to road safety which would subsequently be printed and displayed outside their respective schools. Winning banners will be displayed when schools return.
“A piece of work I am really keen to highlight is the F24 Project based at Levenmouth Academy. This is a project initiated by Levenmouth Community Team and runs in partnership with Cowdenbeath Area Community Police Team. Two officers are dedicated over an eight-week period to deliver flexible support based on the needs of the community.
“Their work supports three key priorities - education, engineering and enforcement. The Levenmouth Community Team liaised with key partners at the Levenmouth Anti-Social Behaviour Partnerships to identify priorities re-emerging issues within the Levenmouth area, such as antisocial behaviour, illegal motorbike use and wilful-fireraising.
“Our quarterly figures provide a useful snapshot of the picture within the division and throughout the country. However, what is not reflected is the outstanding work of Fife Division officers within your communities to keep the Kingdom an amazing and safe place to live, work and visit.
“I want to thank my officers and staff for their continued dedication and professionalism and I look forward to seeing how, in collaboration with our key partners, we can continue to improve the quality of life for all of Fife’s residents.”
Please note, the Q4 report contains Management Information figures and these are not official statistics.