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New police figures reveal decrease in weapon and drug crimes in Tayside



Weapons and drug offences are among the crimes to reduce in Tayside as the country continues to move away from COVID restrictions, according to new Police Scotland figures.

However, the number of violent crimes and fraud crimes has continued to rise.

Recorded from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, the national authority’s Q3 Management of Information data was released to the public on Monday.

The performance report notes that the total number of crimes for offensive and bladed weapons fell from 614 last year to 586.

There were eight fewer incidents of carrying an offensive weapon and 39 fewer for handling a bladed or pointed article.

The number of overall drug supply offences recorded in the division also fell from 241 to 226.

Total drug crimes, which includes possession and importation of illegal substances, are down from 1652 to 1222.

With lockdown having ended earlier this year, some crime rates have “started returning to levels observed prior to the pandemic”.

Overall crimes of violence in Tayside have risen to 743, compared with 661 during the same period of the previous year.

Another area that continues to see both a divisional and national increase is fraud, particularly cyber offences, which are becoming more prevalent.

Within Tayside, the number of frauds reported has gone up from 707 to 952.

Divisional commander for Tayside chief superintendent Phil Davison said: “As the Q3 data demonstrates, this has been an incredibly busy and challenging period for policing and Tayside was not immune to the pressures of COP26 and the coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite all of these demands, DCC Taylor has confirmed that public confidence in policing remains high and I want to thank all Tayside officers and staff for their outstanding contributions.

“Our proactive approach to tackling weapons offences and making public spaces safer is an ongoing commitment, but one we are making important strides in.

“Similarly, we recognise that when it comes to those with addiction issues, there are often a range of complex, health and social care factors at play and we cannot address these in isolation, hence our commitment to moving forward with a public health approach.

“A critical part of that approach is our engagement with partners to ensure the right support is directed to the right people at the right time.

“During lockdown we saw crime rates, including violence fall drastically and with restrictions all but behind us, these are now retuning to previous levels. “Nevertheless, I want to assure the public we are committed to addressing this rise, support victims and remove violent criminals from our communities.

“A range of partnership work is taking place within Tayside to reduce the impact of violence on our communities.

“These include, joint activity with the licensed trade, local authorities and the third sector. “In addition, we proactively engage with young people in schools to educate on the consequences of becoming involved in violence and to encourage and divert youths away from violent offences.

“The continued rise in fraud offences is primarily linked to the growth of cyber scams and DCC Taylor has outlined the challenges the online realm presents to policing.

“However, the Police Scotland Cyber Strategy and enhanced investment in investigating cyberspace offences is a vital step in getting to grips with this issue.”

The performance report will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performance Committee. Associated management information is on the Police Scotland website.





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