Wednesday 27th September 17

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr
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Highest number of sexual crimes reported since 1970s

The number of sex crimes reported in Scotland is at its highest on record, according to a new report. There were 10,822 incidents recorded by police last year, up 5% in a single year and 65% in a decade. The number reported was almost 135% higher than in 1971 – the first year on record – although overall crime has fallen to its lowest level since 1974.

Police partly attributed the rise in sexual crime to an increased number of historic cases being reported. Online abuse has also contributed significantly, according to the latest edition of the Recorded Crime in Scotland (RCS) report.

Police praised for handling of protest march in Perth

Chief Inspector Ian Scott, area commander for Perth and Kinross, said police usually get “very little” feedback on their operations but revealed officers on duty at a protest march on September 10 were praised for “minimising disruption, keeping people safe and engaging well.” The city centre protest was staged by members of the SDL against a new mosque proposed for Perth and attracted hundreds of anti-fascist objectors.  In what could have been a potentially violent flashpoint, only one arrest was made at one of the biggest police operations ever mounted in Perth.  Officers used horses and riot vans and closed off some streets during the march.  Mr Scott said: “In this case there has been a fair bit of positive dialogue from a range of sources including, residents, businesses, elected councillors and even some protestors.  “The themes were in relation to minimising disruption, keeping people safe and officers engaging well.”

Chris Marshall: Scrapping pay cap could be most significant statistic of all for police

The problem with statistics, as once famously noted, is that they can be shaped to fit an agenda. Within minutes of recorded crime figures being published yesterday, the SNP spin machine was making sure everyone knew the overall number of offences had fallen by three per cent to its lowest level since 1974. One of the party’s communications staff even tweeted the fact with some police car emojis. But as with so much presented by the government, the devil really is in the detail. While the overall number of crimes is down, violent offences, including crimes such as attempted murder and serious assault, rose by six per cent in a year and sex crimes are at their highest level since records began in 1971.

Scotland’s young girls hit by epidemic of cybersex crime

Scotland has been hit by an epidemic of phone and online sex crime with girls under 16 making up three quarters of its victims. New figures, described as a “wake-up call” by campaigners, show children bearing the brunt of a surge in “indecent communications” enabled by the web. Scottish Government researchers found such crimes were largely committed by older boys on young girls, with the average perpetrator aged just 18 and victim only 14. The sheer scale of the rise in such “cyber sex offending” – overall numbers of such crimes recorded have jumped 50 per cent in just three years – has sparked calls for a root-and-branch review in the way such issues are dealt with in schools.

Police Scotland to sell off more than 50 stations as force faces ‘£200 million black hole’

Dozens of stations are to be sold off as part of a cost-cutting measure by Police Scotland as it faces a potential £200 million gap in its finances. The national force has announced plans to put 53 properties on the market, including buildings in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Highlands and Islands. Auditor General Caroline Gardner warned MSPs earlier this year that the force is “an organisation in crisis” and will face a £200 million funding gap by 2020-21. Most of the facilities have previously been shut, but ten are still in service while others – especially in rural locations – are in used patrolling officers for refreshment breaks.

Future of several Police Scotland properties in Glasgow to be decided

The future of several Police Scotland premises in Glasgow is expected to be decided. The force is to seek permission from the Scottish Police Authority this week to begin a three-month public engagement exercise over the future of 53 properties which are no longer required. In Glasgow, those properties include a police office in Pollokshaws, a lost and found property facility in the Saltmarket and an empty building in Anderston which was previously used by one of the force’s national functions.

Plans for new Police Scotland unit in Govan to be forward

A new Police Scotland unit which will help frontline officers could be created and operated in Govan – if plans are approved by the Scottish Police Authority. Proposals for the creation of a National Database Enquiry Unit (NDEU) will be discussed when the Scottish Police Authority meet in Inverness tomorrow. The creation of the NDEU will support operational policing by undertaking live time database checks for frontline officers across the country 24 hours a day. Police Scotland say that between 1600 and 2200 such enquiries are conducted each day across the country with 50 per cent of this originating in the west.

Police Scotland crime clear-up rate slumps to new low

Police Scotland’s crime clear-up rate has fallen to the lowest level since the formation of the single force, according to damning new figures. The Scottish Government’s annual crime -statistics also revealed a surge in homicides, violent crimes and sex offences, with a huge jump in the number of cyber sex crimes recorded.  Last night, SNP ministers were under pressure to step in and help the police improve the clear-up rate as it emerged criminals now stand a 50/50 chance of getting away with it.  The percentage of crimes cleared up last year – cases where there is sufficient evidence to prosecute – fell by 1.6 per cent to 50 per cent, the lowest such figure since 2011/12, the year before Police Scotland was formed by merging the country’s eight former forces.

Database has names of 400,000 ‘vulnerable’ Scots

More than 400,000 people have been placed on a police database to protect vulnerable people in Scotland. Officers attending incidents or crimes add men and women to the list, in many cases without their knowledge, if they consider them at risk of future harm. The information commissioner said the database, which includes about 8 per cent of the Scottish population, breaches the Data Protection Act because information cannot be removed. Police Scotland said it is taking steps to comply with the act.

Almost 50 vehicles seized and 33 charged in North-east police operation

Almost 50 vehicles have been seized and over 30 people charged in a police operation to tackle anti-social use of motorbikes in Aberdeen. Since May, 47 vehicles, including 30 motorbikes, have been seized in Operation Trinity.  Out of the motorbikes seized, 15 of them were stolen.  The annual operation, which has also seen 33 people charged, aims to target individuals who cause a nuisance in their communities by riding motorcycles illegally or in a dangerous way.

Plans to integrate control room facilities to be presented the SPA this week

Proposals for the final phase of Police Scotland’s plans to integrate control room and contact centre facilities are to be presented the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) this week.

If approved, the plans will see the closure of the Inverness Area Control Room (ACR) and Service Centre, with the transfer of ACR functions to the ACR North in Dundee and call handling transferred to the Police Scotland Service Centre (PSSC). A separate proposal to be considered by the SPA on Thursday 28th September will see the creation of a new National Database Enquiry Unit (NDEU) based in Inverness and Govan. The creation of the NDEU will support operational policing by undertaking live time database checks for frontline officers across the country 24 hours a day. Across Scotland, 1600-2200 such enquiries are conducted each day.

Police Scotland to sell dozens of its properties

Police Scotland has unveiled plans to dispose of 53 properties including a small number currently used as bases for officers or staff. The national force is seeking permission from the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to begin a three-month public engagement exercise on the plans. All of the properties have been identified by local police commanders as “surplus to requirements” and almost all of them no longer perform an active policing purpose, the force said. Of the 53 properties identified for potential disposal, 10 are currently used as a base for officers or staff who would be relocated to other permanent facilities.

Decision due on future of Inverness police control room

The Scottish Police Authority is to be asked to approve a proposal to close Inverness’ police control room at a meeting in the city on Thursday. Under Police Scotland’s plan, the functions of the control room would be transferred to Area Control Room North in Dundee. The board will also be asked to consider a separate project to create a new National Database Enquiry Unit.  The unit would be based in Inverness and also Govan in Glasgow.  Its staff will support operational policing by carrying out “live time” database checks for frontline officers across Scotland 24 hours a day. Up to 2,200 such enquiries are conducted every day in Scotland, according to police.


Police bases in Scotland are facing the axe over lack of beat cops – here are all the areas affected

A lack of beat cops could be to blame for a huge drop in reported offences, crime stats revealed yesterday. Figures show raps including assaults, stalking and racism have plummeted by more than 50,000.

One serious crime every 30 minutes

Damning figures have revealed one violent or sexual crime is reported every 30 minutes – as it emerged that the SNP had failed to include nearly 300,000 offences in the tally. Yesterday, Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson trumpeted an ‘encouraging’ 3 per cent fall in overall recorded crime to ‘historically low levels’.

Ministry of Defence criticised after police force fails inspection on firearms training

The Ministry of Defence has been accused of playing “fast and loose” with safety after the department’s police force failed to meet national standards on firearms. The College of Policing suspended its endorsement of firearms training arrangements at the MDP, which helps protect the UK’s nuclear bases at Faslane and Coulport, after an inspection. MDP officers are still able to use firearms, but SNP MP Stewart McDonald said: “This is an extremely sorry episode and the public needs to know how training and safety standards were allowed to slip so far as to have the College of Policing feel it necessary to take this drastic step.”

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