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Robberies at a six year high

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
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Robberies at a six year high

ROBBERIES are at a six-year high in Dumfries and Galloway, shock new stats have revealed.

They were 40 incidents in the 11 months between April 1 2023 and February 29 this year, police chiefs have confirmed.

This total is nearly double the amount of robberies recorded during the same period the previous year.

Meanwhile, the five-year average for this period is also considerably lower at 24.

The figures were included in a police performance update report tabled at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s police, fire, and rescue sub-committee on Monday.

Police Superintendent Jim McMillan told councillors at the meeting: “Violent crime is up 3.5 percent and robbery is at a six-year high. I think it’s really important to put that information out there.

“I would like to give a bit of reassurance around that with the governance processes we have put in place to address these.

“We have now a divisional violence prevention group, which is meeting on a monthly basis, and is chaired by our local detective chief inspector.

“The focus of this group is on reduction and prevention, and also looking at the development of intervention and investigation tactics.

“Whilst robbery is at a six-year high, I also think it’s important to show that most robberies that are occurring in Dumfries and Galloway are between victims and perpetrators that know one another.

“There’s no specific hotspots or areas in the division which cause concern. There’s

been a number of cases where there’s been no intention to rob from the outset, however circumstances have unfolded which have then presented that opportunity, which we will then record properly and investigate.”

The report presented crime figures for 11 months because the full year stats were not approved in time for the committee meeting.

Meanwhile, the number of common assaults over that period had climbed to 1405 – an increase of 3.7 percent on the five-year average.

Police Superintendent McMillan explained that half of these occur within houses, which “makes it a challenge to police behind closed doors”.

However, another shock statistic was the number of attacks on police officers and emergency workers.

Mr McMillan said: “We’ve had 209 recorded in the time period, which is a 3.9 per cent reduction on the five-year average. However, 187 of those are on police officers and staff, and 22 of those are on emergency workers.”

A total of 232 complaints were made against Police Scotland over the 11 months. The complaints were made against officers on duty, none were off-duty at the time. Eighty-eight of complaints made were about quality of service, however a single complaint could have multiple allegations.

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