Police Scotland release crime statistics in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire

VIOLENT crimes such as aggravated assaults and attempted murders are on the rise in the police division covering Helensburgh and Lomond, according to new figures.

Statistics released by Police Scotland show there were 13 attempted murders in the Argyll and West Dunbartonshire division in 2021-22, up from seven in the previous 12 months.

The number of aggravated assaults rose from 95 to 121 year-on-year, while the number of simple assaults rose by 300 – and crimes involving threats and extortion more than doubled from 13 to 38 .

But reports of anti-social behavior fell by a quarter, from 13,354 to 9,856 – and the total number of reported crimes also fell, from 6,724 to 6,333.

Robbery and assault with intent to steal fell from 37 to 26.

And although crimes of cruelty or child abuse fell slightly, there were still 27 reported in the region – and only 78% of these crimes were “detected”, or the person responsible was identified.

Of the 121 serious assaults, 89 were detected.

The figures for sexual crimes are much worse: the detection rate for rape and attempted rape was only 46%, and for lewd and libidinous practices it was only 41%.

Possession or distribution of indecent images of children had a detection rate of 100%, up from 70% the previous year.

But only 63% of crimes for indecent communication were detected.

In total, sex crimes increased by 30, from 435 to 465, and dishonesty crimes increased by almost 200 between the fourth quarter of 2020/21 and 2021/22.

In other figures, burglaries were down but had a detection rate of just 22% for the 229 crimes.

Shoplifting went from 405 to 533 crimes, but the detection rate was 41%.

Fraud crimes are also up to 428, but the rate of finding someone responsible was only 13%.

Fire starts have decreased, but just over a quarter have been detected.

Crimes such as carrying offensive weapons, drug supply and drug possession were all down. The total number of drug-related crimes rose from 1,559 to 985.

A breakdown of the number of crimes and reports recorded in Helensburgh and Lomond is not provided in the latest figures.

Chief Superintendent of Divisional Commander Lynn Ratcliff said: “The past year has been an exceptional one for policing as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt and impact crime within our local communities. .

“However, the reduction in overall crime in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire is to be welcomed. “We are committed to continuing engagement within our local communities and to listening and acting on what people tell us matters to them. most.

“People told us that antisocial behavior had a significant impact on their sense of safety and quality of life. We have listened and conducted a number of operations over the past few months targeting this issue, and this action is reflected in the latest data.

“We will continue to target anti-social behavior as we enter the summer months.

“We will also continue to focus our efforts on reducing violent and sexual crimes across the division.

“The increase in reporting may be an indicator of people’s confidence in reporting these offenses to the police. We will act and investigate all reports we receive to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“People tell us that we provide a consistent service and have welcomed increased visibility and presence in areas where it is needed. I would like to encourage the public to continue to engage with us and help us provide the service they want. »