Shoplifting blots positive crime report

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Shoplifting increased by more than 51% in Kincardine and Mearns in the past year.

There were 56 cases between April and September compared with 37 in 2017. Police Scotland figures were revealed to Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee on Tuesday.

Larger retail outlets in places such as Stonehaven and Portlethen have borne the brunt of shoplifting with an 83% increase.

But, on a more positive note, Local Area Commander Stewart Drummond said recorded crime figures had reduced in six of nine key areas and that detection rates had also improved.

He added: “Overall the figures paint a positive picture for the area and we are working towards cutting crime even further.”

Councillors heard that there had been reductions across the board including a 37% drop in the number of cases of vandalism and malicious mischief from 104 to 65.

With crimes of violences, robbery, serious and petty assault all showing declines, Chief Inspector Drummond said it was testament to the “excellent local policing” in the area and hard work of the local teams and partner agencies.

Councillors were, however, disappointed to hear crimes of indecency increased by 30% with 37 cases reported in 2018.

The officer explained that while the figures included rape and indecent assault, it also now featured technology-crimes such as social media abuse and indecent images.

Councillors were united in their praise for the continued efforts of their local policing teams.

Meanwhile, responding to local concerns that Police Scotland may be considering centralisation of resources, Chief Inspector Drummond assured councillors there was currently no indication that it would withdraw its teams, including local roads units.