5 Commentary: Recorded crimes and offences by police force
The total number of crimes recorded in the Central police force area decreased by 2 per cent between 2004/05 and 2005/06 to 19,423 (see table 5). There has been a decrease of 9 per cent in crimes of dishonesty, but an increase of 157 recorded crimes of indecency (64 per cent), due to the continued impact of historical reporting, with over 40 per cent of these crimes being historical in nature.
Chart 4 Total number of crimes recorded per 10,000 population in 2005/06 by police force area
5.2 Dumfries & Galloway
Crimes recorded in the Dumfries & Galloway police force area decreased overall by 9 per cent between 2004/05 and 2005/06 to total 9,732 (see table 5). There were decreases in most crime groups, particularly crimes of dishonesty (22 per cent). Increases were seen in crimes of indecency, where again there was a high proportion of historical reporting (increasing from 21 per cent in 2004/05 to 40 per cent in 2005/06), and other crimes. The number of miscellaneous offences recorded decreased by 9 per cent.
The number of crimes recorded in the Fife police area decreased by 13 per cent between 2004/05 and 2005/06 to total 30,319 (see table 5), particularly in crimes of dishonesty (19 per cent). This has been attributed to the effectiveness of CCTV as a deterrent and the introduction of 'chip and pin'. Increased security regarding motor vehicles and local initiatives encouraging people to be more security conscious have also helped. There was a 7 per cent decrease in miscellaneous offences recorded.
The number of recorded crimes in the Grampian police force area increased by less than 2 per cent between 2004/05 and 2005/06 to total 41,602 crimes (see table 5). Again, the force is seeing a significant level of historical reporting of crimes of indecency, suggesting an increased public confidence and willingness to report such matters to the police. Acquisitive crime in the area is linked to the number of individuals using class 'A' controlled drugs. Proactive measures taken by the force have resulted in a reduction in domestic housebreaking, which may have displaced some activity towards car crime. There has been a decrease of 23 per cent in speeding offences recorded, which can be attributed to the practice of giving prior notice of speed enforcement locations and initiatives, so that offences are prevented rather than detected. The number of vehicle defect offences fell steeply, by 51 per cent, which may be partly as a result of several high profile media articles throughout the area highlighting the dangers associated with defective vehicles.
5.5 Lothian & Borders
Recorded crime in the Lothian & Borders police force area decreased by 4 per cent to total 80,571 (see table 5). There were significant reductions in non-sexual crimes of violence, possibly because of increased police numbers on the street during the G8 summit, and a reduction in historical reporting contributed to a decrease in crimes of indecency. There has been an increase in housebreakings in the city of Edinburgh, possibly because criminals are redirecting their activities from credit card fraud, following the introduction of 'chip and pin'. There has been a significant reduction in speeding offences recorded (29 per cent), which can be largely attributed to a variety of Public Relations and Education Campaigns highlighting the consequences of speeding.
The number of crimes recorded in the Northern police force area decreased by just under 2 per cent between 2004/05 and 2005/06 to total 15,413 (see table 5). There were reductions in all crime groups apart from 'other crimes', where there was a significant increase in the number of drug crimes recorded. This was due to force initiatives in being more proactive and targeting suppliers in particular. There was an increase in the number of speeding offences recorded, which is thought to be partly due to the targeting of known areas where speeding is likely to occur.
The number of recorded crimes in the Strathclyde police force area decreased by 4 per cent between 2004/05 and 2005/06 to total 191,273 (see table 5). There were reductions in all crime groups apart from 'other crimes', where there was an increase in crimes against public justice due primarily to an increase in bail offences. There was an increase in 'the miscellaneous offences' category due to an increase in consumption of alcohol in designated areas, which is an indicator of police pro-activity. It is hoped that early intervention can reduce, indirectly, the risk of other more serious crimes such as vandalism, breach of the peace, violence etc.
The number of recorded crimes in the Tayside police force area decreased by 8 per cent in 2005/06 to total 29,452 (see table 5). There has been a decrease in non-sexual crimes of violence which was attributable to a proactive approach to alcohol fuelled crimes of violence. This was due to operations involving the police working closely with licensees during the summer months and festive period to ensure as little violence as possible occurred when alcohol had been consumed. There was an increase in crimes of indecency, however a large proportion of this increase is due to historic crimes being reported, some of which happened in the early 1970's.
Chart 5 Number of crimes of domestic housebreaking recorded by the police per 10,000 population in 2005/06
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