More crimes were committed across Courier Country last month than during the same period last year, prompting pleas for more resources for police.
New Scottish Government figures show that in November, the total number of crimes recorded in Perth and Kinross shot up by 18% compared to the same month in 2019, while there was a 10% jump in Dundee and 7% rise in Fife.
While Angus’s total crimes virtually flatlined, the comparative number of incidents in Perthshire rose by 66 this November over last to 430 and by 81 to 906 in Dundee. In Fife, the number of crimes recorded by officers jumped by 82 to to 1,210.
Police have not seen sweeping increases across all areas, with the coronavirus pandemic reshaping criminal behaviour.
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “We saw a significant reduction in reported crime across a number of categories during lockdown. These levels have returned to what we would more usually expect to see.
“Police Scotland’s most recent performance report also highlighted that the rapid increase in online abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people and children, either for financial gain or for sexual purposes, has accelerated.
“This underlines that policing must continue to operate in public, private and, increasingly, in virtual spaces to provide education, reassurance and enforcement.
“We are investing in our cyber capabilities to tackle the rise in cybercrime and help people protect themselves from fraud.”
Last month in Fife, police saw violent crime up a third on the year before, but sexual crimes down slightly in comparison.
But in Dundee, sex crimes last month were up 40% on November 2019 and the number of Dundonians caught carrying weapons was almost twice as many. However, non-sexual violence in the city has fallen by a third.
In Perthshire, the biggest year-on-year increase officers have dealt with are sexual crimes that do not fall under the brackets of rape, assault or prostitution. However, the number of driving offences recorded is down by almost half.
Across Scotland, the total crimes recorded by police in November remained just above the 40,000 mark, increasing by 1.4% on 2019.
These increases do not include new anti-coronavirus laws introduced from March. 1,811 of these breaches written up by police across Scotland in November – the second highest yet.
A Scottish Government reporter said: “This month’s figure is higher than the previous month but considerably lower than April.
“Users should treat these figures as broadly indicative, and may be subject to further revision in future releases.”
Conservative Liz Smith MSP said: “The rise in the number of crimes in Perth and Kinross from November last year to November this year is alarming and needs to be addressed by the SNP Government.
“I must praise the hard-working police officers on the frontline.
“Officers must be given resources to drive down the rising number of crimes and reassure communities in Perth and Kinross that there will be a strong police presence there.”
Tom McEwan, the SNP’s housing and communities spokesperson at Perth and Kinross Council, said: “During the eight months to November 2020, Police Scotland have had a very challenging time adapting to the changing profile of crime that lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions has created.
“We are in unprecedented times and it is a time to fully support the difficult challenges Police Scotland faces, not for comparison.
“Crime in Scotland is at it lowest level since 1974 and it is no surprise the Tories are running scared of Scotland’s growing appetite for independence and a future which doesn’t include a Tory Brexit.”