In the past seven years recorded crime in Fife has almost halved having fallen by 49%.
At the same time the detection rate has risen to 60% – which will be one of the highest rates ever achieved by any Police Force in Scotland. Crime in Fife is now at the lowest levels since modern crime recording standards were first set in 2004.
In the most serious crimes, there was a decrease of 25.8% in the number of Crimes of Violence recorded (down to 348 compared with 469) and this was accompanied by a large increase in the detection of these crimes, which is up from 87.0% to 97.4%.
It has also been another record year for controlled drug seizures in Fife with £1.69 million of Class A drugs and £2.59 million of Class B drugs recovered. A total of £183,000 of cash was also seized from people involved in the distribution of controlled drugs.
There has also been a significant fall in Anti-Social Behaviour Offences recorded, with 2,269 fewer crimes (7,151 against 9,420) – a fall of 24.1%. Operations Crack-It and Allegro were successfully developed in the West of Fife and have shown huge improvements in dealing with these offences, which are among the most commonly raised issues by people across Fife at Community Engagement Meetings.
These results have been achieved by a series of continual improvements delivered across the Force, including making sure staff are briefed better to deal with the local concerns in the area they are policing and are more able to respond to community concerns.
Much of this awareness can be attributed to the Force Community Engagement meetings which have been further enhanced to include meetings in schools, supermarkets and with businesses and other groups.
We will be seeking to build on the achievements we have made in identifying and targeting hotspots for violence in public spaces, to tackling non domestic violence in private spaces through an innovative programme working with the Fife Community Safety Partnership, Fife Council, NHS, the Violence Reduction Unit, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and others.
Since the inception of the Public Protection Unit, there have been improvements in the way domestic abuse cases are now recorded and we are also working with partners through the MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferencing Process) which has led to an increase in confidence in reporting domestic abuse.
This has led to an increase in the volume of domestic cases being recorded – 137 in the past year – however, these changes have led to a reduction in the number of repeat victims of domestic abuse. Recent proactive investigations have also highlighted more victims of historic abuse, who had not previously come forward to the police.
Safety on the roads in Fife has also improved with fatalities, as well as serious and slight casualties all reduced. During 2011-12 there were 12 fatalities, (down from 13 in 2010), 88 serious injuries (138 in 2010) and 465 slight injuries (593 in 2010); a total of 565 (down from 632 in 2010). Of these, there were 63 child casualties, down from 93 the previous year.
ACC Ewing said: “These record low crime figures show how Fife Constabulary is delivering for the people in our communities. Recorded crime is now almost half the level of seven years ago and this has been achieved by responding to community needs, supported by visible police patrols and meaningful engagement with all the communities of Fife.
“I am particularly proud of the officers who have delivered this improvement at a time when Fife Constabulary also committed so many resources to dealing with Operation Mercer, the largest operation in the Force’s history and which led to the conviction of three men for the murder of Toby Siddique in Glenrothes.
“I want to thank all the communities of Fife for working with us to help the Force to deliver all these successes and encourage local people to take part in Community Engagement Meetings to help us continue with our vision of Taking Policing Closer to the Community.
“During the next few weeks all seven areas of Fife Constabulary will launch the local policing plans for the following year tackling the issues that matter to the local communities.”