Crime in Dundee is rising at a faster rate than anywhere else in Scotland, shocking new figures reveal.
The latest data released by Police Scotland shows crimes for the period April 1 to September 30 2019 increased by 21% when compared to the same period last year.
Some of the sharpest spikes are in categories such as sex attacks, robberies, and crimes of dishonesty.
It means the city has now almost caught up with Glasgow when it comes to the number of crimes committed per 10,000 people. The figure for Dundee rose from 285.4 to 345.3, just short of Glasgow’s 356.6, which is unchanged from the same period last year.
Cases of sexual crimes shot up from 224 to 357, including an increase in both rapes and attempted rapes from 45 to 69.
Crimes of dishonesty, which often see the elderly and vulnerable targeted, continue to make up almost half of all crimes.
Dorothy McHugh, the secretary of Dundee Pensioners’ Forum, said the increase “makes for very difficult reading”.
She said: “The headline numbers for Dundee are worrying, and hidden within these big numbers is the increase in incidents of dishonesty against older people.
“The forum has certainly noted an increase in reports about scams targeting older people and I regularly circulate warnings about these through our Facebook page and by email to our members.
“Our experience remains that older people in Dundee feel reasonably safe within their own homes, and out and about during daylight hours. The fact that they are seen as an easy target by criminals intent on stealing what little money most of us have, appears, sadly, to be part of the modern condition. I wonder how we got here?”
The information, which comes from the force’s new council area report, is used to inform operational decision-making on a daily basis.
The data is considered provisional, say police officials, since some crimes may be re-classified, or it may be found that no crime took place.
In Angus and Perth there was a rise of around 19% and 16% respectively but crimes per 10,000 people are still relatively low compared to many other areas.
In Fife, crime fell slightly. Divisional commander, chief superintendent Derek McEwan, said the news was “extremely encouraging”.
Tayside’s chief superintendent Andrew Todd said one of the force’s main battles was against drug-related crime and warned enforcement action alone was not enough to tackle such a complex issue.
“We understand the importance of recognising vulnerabilities and providing support to those who need it most and will continue to work closely with our partners to address substance misuse and provide long-term, sustainable solutions.,” he said.
He added that the force was also continuing to understand violent behaviour and put in place “preventative and diversionary” projects to reduce such crimes.
Mr Todd said new domestic abuse laws introduced earlier this year had also meant more people being charged.