By Lucy Ashton
Total crimes and offences are down across Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire, with 6763 recorded, a 21.6% drop compared with the same period last year.
Sexual crimes have also reduced, with 40 fewer rapes and 26 fewer sexual assaults.
There has been a 16.5% fall in crimes of dishonesty, with a 289 decrease in recorded incidents.
Superintendent Douglas Wilson of Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Division, said: “This has been a challenging time for local policing which has seen our officers and staff adapt to working under coronavirus restrictions, ensuring the communities of Argyll and West Dunbartonshire continue to be safe places to live and work.
“Serious assaults are down by 31, with a 3.5 percentage point increase in detection rates, while common assaults have reduced by 172 with a 1.5 percentage point decrease in detection rates.
“We have recorded a 9.1% increase in fraud, from 236 cases to 395. There has been an increase nationally in this type of crime throughout the pandemic, particularly with more people staying at home and carrying out more of their daily activities online.
“Our ambitious Cyber Strategy has set a clear direction for how we will tackle digitally-enabled crimes, including fraud. We would also urge people to take all possible steps to educate and protect themselves from being a victim of this type of crime.
“There remain concerns relating to the communication and disclosure of indecent images, most of which involve young people. This type of crime can have a devastating impact on young victims and it is vital that parents speak to them about the dangers and consequences of this. We will continue to work with local partners to educate youths on how to use the internet and digital services safely.”
The data also shows increases in some offences, including domestic abuse (5.7%), offensive and bladed weapons incidents (2%) and drink/drug driving (8.3%).
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, above right, said: “As restrictions ease, we will continue to report on changes to the policing requirements of communities and the challenge of maintaining higher detection rates in the context of reported crime, which is closer to pre-pandemic levels, as well as increasing demand in areas such as fraud and online child abuse.”
The 2020-21 Q4 Performance Report will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Tuesday, 8 June.
Superintendent Douglas Wilson and picture at top of page: Police officers keeping an eye on things at the Luss Highland Game on Loch Lomondside. Picture by Bill Heaney
The Performance Report and Management Information can be found by clicking here https://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/our-performance/