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Vandalism Down In The North As Police Targeting Bites

16th May 2010

Police success in tackling vandalism and anti-social behaviour in North Division

Northern Constabulary's North Division achieved significant increases in detection rates for vandalism over the past 12 months.

Vandalism is frequently raised as a concern for communities. Whilst vandalisms, together with fire-raising, fell by 12% across the whole Force area, Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross saw a slight increase in this crime. However, successful efforts in targeting this crime resulted in nearly doubling detection rates.

Divisional Commander, Superintendent Julian Innes said: "Specific targeting of vandalisms saw the detection rate in this area increase dramatically from 28% to 47% showing that initiatives in this area have had a positive effect. High visibility policing and specific operations have been carried out within this area to target both vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Resources have been deployed to combat specific waves of vandalism and a recent operation detected 30 vandalisms in Thurso as a result. The Community Response Team operations have also contributed to a reduction in serious crime and violent disorder."

He went on to say: "Underage drinking is an underlying cause of such associated crimes and a multi-agency operation in the Caithness and Sutherland area, (Operation Safety), aimed at reducing the vulnerability of young people through alcohol abuse. Young people were taken to Wick and Thurso police stations and given advice and guidance in the presence of their parents. This also resulted in information to support the targetting of licensed premises in the next round of test purchase activity."

The North Division achieved a 3% increase in overall detection rates against last year, but saw a very slight increase in overall crime rates across Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross.

Crime continues to fall in Orkney and Shetland where detection rates also remain very high. The successful investigation and detection of the Sanday murder demonstrates the ability of the Force to focus specialist resources throughout the region, even in the remotest of areas, to solve crime.

Pro-active activities and intelligence-led operations continue to disrupt the supply of illegal drugs, with resources directed towards the organised crime groups supplying Class A drugs. There have been a number of successful convictions in relation to drug-related crime in the this region, including a a custodial sentence for cannabis cultivation in Orkney.

Superintendent Innes added: "These excellent results are a tribute to the hard work and commitment of police officers and staff and the continued support of our communities."

The latest performance statistics for the whole Force area reveal that crime in 2009-10 fell by 12% against the previous year (classes 1-5). This equates to nearly 2000 fewer victims of crime. Detection rates remain high at 85.1% over all classes, which is a slight increase on the previous year's rate of 84.8%.

The overall detection rate for classes 1 to 5 is 62.2%, with detections of serious crimes against the person reaching 92.4%. Most notably crimes of indecency (Class 2) fell by 25% , serious (Class 1) crimes fell by 10% and crimes of dishonesty (Class 3) fell by 9%.

Class 6 crimes, mainly Breach of the Peace and Drunkenness have also fallen significantly by nearly 17% over the past 12 months. This means there are over 4000 fewer victims of crime across all classes throughout the Force area.

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