Acquisitive crime figures fall across Shire

Acquisitive crimes have fallen in Aberdeenshire against the five-year average
Acquisitive crimes have fallen in Aberdeenshire against the five-year average

Acquisitive crimes have fallen in Aberdeenshire against the five-year average as officers continue to tackle this priority for North East Division.

Detection rates have also significantly increased for vehicle crimes, housebreakings, dishonest crimes and common thefts as officers maximise every intelligence and enforcement opportunity available and proactively target serial offenders.

Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson presented the latest Police performance figures to Aberdeenshire Council as part of Police Scotland's commitment to local scrutiny.

The period from April to October 2016 - compared to the five year average - reveals a 27% drop in vehicle crimes, a 32.3% reduction in common thefts, a 12% drop in crimes of dishonesty, and an 18% reduction in housebreakings.

Meanwhile detection rates for vehicle crimes have increased by more than 28% against the five year average, increased by 24% for housebreakings, 30% for dishonest crimes and increased by 24% for common thefts.

Chief Superintendent Thomson said: "In recent months a number of properties and vehicles have been targeted in the North East which means that tackling acquisitive crimes remains a priority for the Division.

"I can assure the public that preventing these types of crimes from happening in the first instance is at the forefront of our activity, however when the worst does happen we will use all resources and tactics available to Police Scotland to bring the people involved to court.

"Operation Magpie was launched last year following on from the successes of long-standing Operation Ruby and, as reflected in these latest figures, we continue to have significant success in apprehending many of the individuals involved and also recovering stolen property.

"I would like to take this opportunity to ask the public once again to assist us in ensuring their homes and vehicles are locked at all times to ensure thieves don’t stand a chance from the outset.

"People don't think it will happen to them, but the sad truth is that you are far more likely to become a victim of crime if you don’t take basic steps to ensure your valuables are safe."

Officers also continue to carry out intelligence-led action to disrupt and dismantle Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) operating in the area, in particular those who deal illicit drugs. During April and October last year more than £66,000 was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act - a significant increase on the same period last year.

Chief Superintendent Thomson said: "The North East remains one of the safest places to live and in the last year alone officers have seized around £1million worth of drugs under Operation Aspen, our Division-wide initiative to tackle drugs. We know there are still criminal networks operating within certain community's however which is why targeted action using national resources to support local Policing is crucial to tackle the issue.

"I can provide every assurance that our officers are committed to making the region a hostile environment for those who choose to involve themselves in this type of unwanted activity and who prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities."

Chief Superintendent Thomson added: "This report reflects the very positive work of Police officers, Police staff and Special Constables and I know we could not record such results without the continued support from communities themselves."