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Police survey finds terrorism tops Scots’ list of worries

Mourners after the terror attacks in Brussels in March. Months of atrocities across mainland Europe have heightened concerns in Scotland.
Mourners after the terror attacks in Brussels in March. Months of atrocities across mainland Europe have heightened concerns in Scotland.

The threat of terrorism is the biggest worry for people in Scotland, according to a police survey.

An increase in attacks across Europe in the last 18 months has raised concerns, officers believe.

The online survey – completed by more than 10,000 people between April and June – was set up to identify the national and local priorities in the country.

Violent crime, serious organised crime, drug dealing and child abuse followed terrorism as the main national concerns while anti-social behaviour, house breaking and drug dealing were the biggest concerns at a local level.

Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson said: “Given recent international events, counter-terrorism and national security understandably came out on top as a national priority.

“We are committed to protecting the communities of Scotland by mitigating this threat.

“We recently announced an increase of 124 armed officers to ensure we have the capacity and capability across Scotland to respond to any emerging threat, and the use of our armed officers will be a critical factor in our response.

“Violent crime was the second highest priority nationally. There are many aspects to violent crime, which take place in both public and private areas, and include robbery, domestic abuse and sexual crime.

“We are seeing an increase in reporting of some aspects of these crimes, which we understand from partners to be an indication of confidence in our approach and support of victims.”

When asked about perceived levels of crime in the last year, 41% of respondents to the survey said it had stayed the same while 24% said it had “increased a little” and 16% said it “increased a lot”.

Only 9% said levels had “decreased a little” and 3% that it had “decreased a lot”.

Of the more than 5,000 people who said they had been in touch with police over the last year, 56% said they were satisfied with the response.

Ms Thomson added: “We appreciate the feedback provided and, as a result, now recognise some responses could have been enhanced by either a request for additional information or a limit to the number of options which could be selected.

“These improvements to the survey have now been updated and will assist us to better understand the views and needs of our communities.

“The ongoing survey, which will report quarterly, replaces the annual survey and is hosted on the Police Scotland website: www.scotland.police.uk/yourviewcounts.”

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