Crime drops in Lanarkshire 6.2% in year-on-year comparison

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 12:38 on 4 December 2014.
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Police say comparison with the first six months of the last finanical year shows decreases in some crimes. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.
STATISTICS released today (3 December) have revealed a drop in crime throughout Police Scotland’s Lanarkshire division – which includes  Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Cambuslang, Rutherglen, Hamilton, Lanark, Lanarkshire, Wishaw, Motherwell and Bellshill – over the past six months.

The data reveals that total crime across the Lanarkshire region dropped by 6.2 per cent in the first six months of this financial year, compared to the same half of 2013/14.

A total of 15,419 crimes (in categories 1 to 5) were reported to police in the Lanarkshire area which is covered by ‘Q’ Division between April 1 and September 30 2014.

The statistics come from the latest Police Scotland Management Information Statistics for Quarter 2 (2014/15), which was published earlier today.

According to the report, crime has reduced significantly in a number of different categories, including violent crime, housebreaking, drug crimes and motor vehicle crime. However, domestic abuse continues to be of concern to officials, with 3,583 incidents recorded – a jump of 65 on last year – though some say the rise is down to more people coming forward.

The report indicates that road traffic offences have decreased by 44.5 per cent to 13,343 (from 24,056) and road casualties have dropped by 8.8 per cent, while a total of 537 people were injured on roads in Lanarkshire, of which 5 were fatal, representing a drop of 8.8 per cent and three respectively.

Almost all road offences are down across the board, with speeding down by 51.4 per cent to 5,233, seatbelts offences down by 57.5 per cent to 1,561 and driving whilst on a mobile phone dropping by 43.3 per cent to 1,774.

The Police Scotland Management Information Statistics for Quarter 2 (2014/15) goes on to report that violent crime has decreased by almost 16 per cent, down to 320 incidents, while sexual crime on the other hand increased by 50 per cent to 398, with the number of reported rapes increasing by 17 to 64, while the number of total sexual crime detections has increased by 42 per cent to 308.

Other headline figures include:
A 17.5% drop in housebreakings, to 1,102 crimes;
40,066 searches conducted throughout the region, of which 8,870 were positive;
A 15.4% increase in fraud, to 382 incidents, while shoplifting dropped by 5.1 per cent to 1,392 incidents;
Carriage of an offensive/bladed weapon dropped by 18.2 per cent;
Total drug crimes (including supply and possession) are down by 11.4 per cent, to 2,529;
Motor vehicle crime is down 18.4 per cent, to 969; and,
Vandalism is down 3.6 per cent, to 3,277.

Chief Superintendent Nelson Telfer, Divisional Commander of ‘Q’ Division, said the figures showed officers had made “substantial in-roads” to tackle crimes across Lanarkshire.

He added: “Our priority is keeping people safe and with fewer people becoming victims of crime, we will continue to direct our efforts to areas of crime that cause the public most concern.

“Although there has been a marked increase in the number of rapes reported, this could be down to the fact that people have more confidence in the police to report incidents to us. We have specific units set up with expertise to support and help victims of sexual crime and I would continue to encourage people to report any incidents to us. 

"Domestic abuse still causes me concern as the number of incidents reported has increased but with just over half of these incidents resulting in a crime report being raised, this gives me faith that perpetrators will be detected for any type of domestic abuse.

“Violent crime has dropped, as have the number of offences for carrying a weapon or bladed instrument, which I hope will give people confidence that our streets are safer.

“As always, the number of people who are victims of irresponsible driving on roads in Lanarkshire is still far too high but I welcome that road offences have significantly dropped. Road safety has been highlighted by people living in Lanarkshire as a high priority and by tackling offending behaviour with proactive policing around enforcement, I am sure we will continue to make a real impact in the next six months of the year.

“This has been a strong performance for the first six months of this financial year and we will continue to consult with the people who live in Lanarkshire, local authorities and other third parties to tackle crime so help make this a safer place to live.”
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