Shoplifting on rise in Stonehaven

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Cases of shoplifting have doubled in Stonehaven in the past year, Police Scotland figures have revealed.

They show that between April 2018 and March this year, there were 44 incidents of shoplifting in the town compared with 22 the previous year.

Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee was told on Tuesday that it brings the total of reported cases in its catchment to 85 – a rise of more than 60 per cent.

However, Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Stewart Drummond highlighted that detection was also up by more than 84% at 59 cases.

Addressing councillors, he said: “This could be the final year’s figure which shows a 60 per cent increase. To take that into context, it’s 85 crimes over the period of a year, so we’re looking at less than two shopliftings per week in an area the size of Portlethen and largely Stonehaven.”

In general terms, he said it remained the larger retailers who continue to be targeted as opposed to smaller independent shops.

Mr Drummond reiterated that policing teams across Aberdeenshire continued to visit shops and business to educate them on tackling the issue and making premises as hostile as possible for thieves.

He also revealed that there had only been one more serious assault in the past year totalling eight and that there was only one robbery.

He said: “One serious assault is one too many as far as I’m concerned, but when you take it into the context of a year across the area it’s quite a satisfactory level.”