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North-east housebreaking incidents fall as crime rates return to pre-coronavirus levels

By Alan Beresford

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HOUSEBREAKING incidents within the north-east are falling, newly-released figures have revealed.

Chief Superintendent Kate Stephen.
Chief Superintendent Kate Stephen.

Police Scotland's Q3 Management of Information Data, which covers April 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021 shows crime rates continuing to return to previous levels observed before Covid.

During this time, all incidents of housebreaking, including attempts, fell from 556, to 525.

Overall drug crime also decreased from 2640, to 2412 as officers continue to proactively target those responsible for distributing harmful substances throughout communities within the north-east.

During lockdown and the introduction of various coronavirus restrictions, crimes of violence fell significantly. However, with most restrictions now eased the last few months have resulted in these offences starting to once again increase.

While attempted murders have almost halved, serious assaults and robbery, including assault with intent to rob, have risen by 62 and 26 incidents respectively.

Fraud offences are continuing to become more prevalent across Scotland and North East Division has not been immune to this.This year, 1472 crimes of this nature have been recorded, compared with 967 during the same period of the previous year.

Chief Superintendent Kate Stephen, Divisional Commander for North East Division, said: “Prior to taking up my role as Divisional Commander, I worked in support roles, where I saw the unprecedented demand that our Q3 data gives a snapshot of.

"In addition to the resources from the north-east deployed to COP26, policing teams were, along with partners, continuing to meet the challenges of the pandemic, responding to the effects of Storm Arwen and other significant weather events, all while still taking care of daily business for the division.

“As DCC Taylor [Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor] has stated, the collective efforts of police officers and staff across the country has resulted in the service maintaining high levels of public confidence in policing. I want to take this opportunity to thank the officers, staff and volunteers of North East Police Division for their outstanding work in helping to keep the north east a safe place to live, work and visit.

“We know that housebreaking is a very invasive crime and leaves victims feeling unsafe in their homes and we’ve done a lot of preventative and very targeted, intelligence-led enforcement work to tackle these crimes and I’m encouraged by the overall reduction we have seen. Similarly, the ongoing work alongside partners to tackle drug crime and signpost those with addiction issues to support services is a key factor in the reduction in overall recorded drugs offences.

“However, it is important to recognise the return of violent crime rates to those previously experienced before Covid and I want to make it clear that we will not simply accept this rise, but will do all we can to understand and address the increase, support victims and bring offenders to justice.

“DCC Taylor also highlighted that cyberspace offences are becoming more prevalent and provide new challenges for policing and this is where we see the majority of our fraudulent scams coming from. We will continue to do everything we can to protect our communities in both physical and online realms and the investment into online investigations as part of Police Scotland’s Cyber Strategy will play a crucial role in helping us achieve this.”

The Performance Report will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performance Committee. Associated Management Information is available on Police Scotland’s website.

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