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Crime 'down' across the Highlands and Islands, new Police Scotland report says

By Ali Morrison

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Crime stats have fallen, a new Police Scotland report has said.
Crime stats have fallen, a new Police Scotland report has said.

CRIME levels in the Highlands and Islands continue to be among the lowest in the country, Police Scotland has said.

It was speaking after it recorded a reduction in overall crime during the last Quarter 3 period compared to the same time the previous year – including reductions in sex crimes, dishonesty and anti-social behaviour.

New stats revealed that overall detection rates had increased, "in particular in relation to violent crime" with officers recording one of the highest rates in the country at 82.5 per cent.

The report added that the number of violent non-sexual crimes had increased – to 234 from 202 – although 55 of these crimes were recorded under the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 which was not accounted for last year.

Officers argued that the new law was "making a significant difference", with many victims of domestic abuse who may not have been identified before now gaining access to support.

Nationally were 1313 crimes recorded against the new Act.

The figures are contained within the Police Scotland 2019-20 Quarter 3 Performance Report, which is expected to be presented to the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Thursday (February 27).

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent George Macdonald said: “The Highlands and Islands remains one of the safest areas in Scotland which is testament to not just the efforts of our police officers and staff, Special Constables and youth volunteers but to the local communities we serve and the external partners we work closely alongside. This support is absolutely crucial and by building upon the strong relationships we already have, we can deliver better outcomes.

“The figures highlighted in the Q3 report will serve as a benchmark moving forward as we continue find innovative ways of Policing to help keep people safe and identify people at risk. I continue to ask our communities to let us know your concerns so that we can dedicate our resources to the right places at the right times to target the right people.”

Chief Superintendent Macdonald added: “We will continue to prioritise our resources towards issues that cause the most harm to people and communities, drawing on the support of national resources including Roads Policing, Operational Support and the Specialist Crime Division.

"It is also crucial that we continue to identify opportunities presented by technology to improve effectiveness and maximise the amount of time officers spend in local communities.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for your continued support."

For further information visit Police Scotland's website.

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