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Argyll remains one of the safest areas to live in Scotland after violent crime fell by more than one-fifth, according to police statistics.
The number of non-sexual crimes of violence in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire dropped from 145 between April 1 and September 30 2019 to 114 in the same period this year.
The detection rate for these crimes also rose by almost three percentage points, to 72.8 per cent.
Overall, total crime fell by almost eight per cent, with 3,555 group one to five crimes – non-sexual violent crime, sexual crime, crimes of dishonesty, fire raising/vandalism and other crimes – recorded in the first six months of 2020/21. The overall detection rate also rose from 57.1 per cent to 58.6 per cent.
Proactive work by police in communities across the area resulted in 145 crimes involving offensive or bladed weapons being detected between April 1 and September 30 2020.
Officers also continue to target illegal behaviour on the roads. There was a rise in drink driving, with 212 drink or drug driving offences recorded in the second quarter of 2020/21. This was up from 132 in the same period last year and equates to a rise of 60.6 per cent.
More of these offences were detected, with 189 drink or drug driving offences detected in the six-month period, compared with 130 the same time the previous year.
The figures are contained with Police Scotland’s latest management information figures and show that nationally instances of some crimes are returning to pre-lockdown levels after a significant drop in overall offending between April and June.
Cyber crime, including fraud and online child abuse, is continuing to rise across Scotland, and in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire the number of fraud cases almost doubled, from 107 to 204 year-on-year.
Police officers in communities across Argyll and West Dunbartonshire work with colleagues in national divisions to raise awareness of online safety and target those responsible for cyber crime.
Reports of anti-social behaviour rose 32.6 per cent, with 7,661 incidents reported in the division in the six-month period. Many of these are calls linked to non-compliance with Covid-19 restrictions.
Chief Superintendent John Paterson, divisional commander for Argyll and West Dunbartonshire, said: ‘We continue to work closely with partners during this challenging time to target those seeking to cause harm in our communities.
‘As well as supporting the collective response to the pandemic, we have remained focused on issues such as violence, knife crime and drink driving.
‘Although fewer people have been killed or seriously injured on our roads, it is very disappointing that people still get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
‘Police Scotland officers and staff are out in our communities every day, but they are also keeping people safe in the virtual world where we know fraud and online child sex abuse are increasing.’
Chief Superintendent Paterson added that Police Scotland’s cyber strategy ‘sets a clear direction for how we will tackle the threat, risk and harm from digitally-enabled crimes’.
Drink and drug-driving offences increased by more than 60 per cent between April and September 2020. no_a47Police01