Police Scotland has released its Q4 Management of Information data for April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, which shows that drugs crime incidents are down from 2,228, to 1715 compared to the previous year. The number of supply and possession offences are also down by 104 and 408 reports respectively.
Overall motoring offences are also down from 7,295 to 6,524. One area where the division is mirroring a national rise is fraud, where incidents have increased from 1,233, to 1427.
Violent crime has also risen, compared to the same period of 2021 when people were subject to stringent Covid restrictions. Sexual crime is also up, including 37 more reports of rape and attempted rape and 111 more reports of indecent/sexual assault. Detection rates for sexual crime has broadly risen during this time.
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Chief Superintendent Catriona Paton, divisional commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, said: “Drugs have a significant impact on the lives and wellbeing of people in our communities, staff within Lothian and Scottish Borders have made positive in-roads in tackling drug crime and working with partners to support wider positive outcomes in keeping people safe.
"I am therefore really encouraged that, as we see a return to previously recorded crime rates, we are continuing to see a positive downward trend in drug crime.”
She added: “Our division is not alone in experiencing the rise in fraud and this demonstrates that the nature of criminal activity is changing and therefore so too must the landscape of policing. More and more offences now take place online and we must be able to respond, protect people from harm and investigate these effectively. The Police Scotland cyber strategy provides us with the enhanced capabilities to do so.
"What this also means, is that the staff working to protect victims from on-line harm, and to detect and deter the perpetrators responsible, are not as visible as we have previously come to expect officers to be. Please be assured, that they are still there, working in our communities as they always have been, albeit in a way that is more reflective of the way we now live our lives”.
The 2021-22 Q4 Performance Report will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performance Committee on June 7. The report, and associated Management Information is available here.