Reports of sexual and violent crimes increase in Lothians and Borders area

THE latest crime figures for the Lothians and the Scottish Borders area have been published.

And these figures show that reports of acquisitive and drugs crimes have fallen within the area, whilst the number of reported sexual crimes and crimes of violence has risen.

In addition, the number of road casualties has increased whist the number of speeding detections has fallen.

Specifically acquisitive crime offences reported throughout the division has decreased from 5998, to 5872 which includes a reduction in motor vehicle crime and shoplifting.

Nationally, fraud has continued to rise, with cyber offences becoming more prevalent and the Lothians and Scottish Borders has not been immune to this increase. In total there has been 240 further incidents of fraud reported within the division.

This is mirrored within Lothians and Scottish Borders, with overall crimes of violence up from 484, to 597.

Tackling drug crime is a priority throughout the division and drug supply as fallen from 260, to 172, while total drug crime has also reduced from 1509, to 1238. This includes possession offences.

Overall sexual crime have also risen from 914, to 1066, with reports of rape and attempted rape and sexual assault having risen.

A significant number of these crimes are non-recent, with victims finding the courage to report after periods of time which can amount to years. There have, however, been 80 fewer incidents of indecent assaults.

The division has seen a significant reduction in speeding offences, which have dropped from 542 to 273. There were also 29 fewer driving while disqualified offences and 122 fewer incidents of driving without a licence.

However, road casualties have increased from 368 to 531, with the number of people either fatally, seriously and slightly injured all having increased, as road usage returns to pre-COVID levels.

Chief Superintendent Catriona Paton, Divisional Commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, said: “Having just recently come into the Division, I have quickly seen why confidence in policing remains high, despite the significant demand placed on my officers during COP26 and the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’d like to build on DCC Taylor’s praise of policing, by thanking all officers and staff within the Lothians and Scottish Borders for their continued efforts in keeping the region a safe place to live, work and visit.

“These endeavours have resulted in some very positive reductions in both drug crime and acquisitive crime and our proactive operations and campaigns will continue to build on these successes.

“I do, however, acknowledge the rise in both violence and sexual crime and want to assure our communities that we will be working diligently alongside any and all relevant partners to address this.

“As DCC Taylor stated, the country is seeing violent crime rates return to pre-COVID levels after significant reductions during lockdown, but we will not be complacent in our approach to bringing violent and sexual offenders to justice.

“The continued rise in fraud offences points to the ongoing challenges the cyber realm presents to policing and Police Scotland’s Cyber Strategy will see increased investment to deal with these challenges. This investment will benefit the Lothians and Scottish Borders, as well as other divisions throughout Scotland.”

The figures relate to April 1 2021, to December 31 2021.

Border Telegraph | News