Police in Fife say their efforts to tackle serious crime in the region are paying dividends, despite the number of reported incidents rising during the first quarter of 2019.
Police Scotland’s statistics for April to June have highlighted another mixed picture in the kingdom, in comparison to the same period in 2018.
The total number of crimes rose from 3,641 to 3,676, but so did the number of detections, which rose from 2,254 to 2,368.
Serious assaults fell by more than 10%, meaning seven fewer victims; common assaults dropped by around 14%, meaning 162 fewer victims; and robbery fell by nearly 40%, equating to seven fewer crimes of that nature.
Sexual crimes recorded between April and June fell by seven, there were 90 fewer reports of vandalism, and there were 264 fewer anti-social behaviour reports.
However, the figures also showed there was a rise in all forms of housebreaking across Fife, with 34 additional reports of break-ins to homes, businesses and outbuildings, a near-21% rise.
Shoplifting from Fife businesses has also risen, with 74 more incidents occurring – a rise of almost 13%.
Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan, Divisional Commander for Fife, said the statistics showed some “significant success” while, at the same time, highlighting areas where the force must continue to focus its efforts.
“Operation Path, the ongoing campaign to tackle violence and bring offenders to justice, had made considerable strides in reducing violent crime and we will not become complacent with our efforts to reduce such offences further,” he said.
“I want to make it clear that violence of any form will not be tolerated and should you be found to be involved in any incidents where violence is a factor, you can expect a visit from us.
“It is also extremely heartening to see a reduction in sexual offences, which we know can have a significant long-term impact on victims.
“I fully appreciate that the rise in acquisitive crime offences, including housebreaking and shoplifting, will be of concern to homeowners and businesses alike and I want to reassure all members of our communities that we are working tirelessly to address this rise.”
Chief Supt McEwan singled out work carried out in Levenmouth which has resulted in a 45% reduction in motorcycle-related anti-social behaviour, although he noted that the number of fatal collisions on Fife’s roads rose from two to three in the same period while serious injury and slight injury collisions rose by 40% and 2.9% respectively.
“While the rise in fatal, serious and slight injury collisions is, of course, something we need to look at, our road policing officers are monitoring all of the main arterial routes within the kingdom on a daily basis to detect motoring offences and take the appropriate action – be it educational advice to motorists or enforcement action.”