It’s time to let po­lice know

Anti-so­cial be­hav­iour is not be­ing re­ported

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Clare Damodaran

Lo­cal po­lice chiefs and coun­cil­lors have urged mem­bers of the pub­lic to re­port in­stances of an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour in east Perthshire.

The move came at the most re­cent meet­ing of Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray Com­mu­nity Coun­cil when it emerged that un­der-re­port­ing of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour is a “real is­sue”.

Speak­ing at the meet­ing, held in Rat­tray Hall, Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor for Blair­gowrie and Glens, Caro­line Shiers, said: “I met with Po­lice Scot­land and hous­ing of­fi­cers from Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil and it seems there is a real is­sue of un­der-re­port­ing of an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour.

“We know in­ci­dents are hap­pen­ing but no one is letting the po­lice or the coun­cil know so re­sources are not then al­lo­cated to tack­ling the is­sues.

“It is worth high­light­ing that peo­ple can re­port is­sues anony­mously if they are con­cerned about the po­ten­tial reper­cus­sions of re­port­ing in­ci­dents.

“Peo­ple can also re­port is­sues to their com­mu­nity war­dens.”

And SNP coun­cil­lor for the ward, Tom McEwan, added: “I think anonymity is the most

im­por­tant part of this peo­ple are of­ten scared of ret­ri­bu­tion.”

Blair­gowrie-based Po­lice Scot­land in­spec­tor Gor­don Thom­son was also at the com­mu­nity coun­cil meet­ing.

He said: “We need to look at al­ter­na­tive ways to en­cour­age peo­ple to re­port is­sues.

“Mem­bers of the pub­lic are en­cour­aged to go to the Po­lice Scot­land web­site where they can get con­tact de­tails for the lo­cal po­lice com­mu­nity of­fi­cers.

“If they would pre­fer not to leave their name or de­tails they can con­tact Crimestop­pers anony­mously to re­port an is­sue.

“Crimestop­pers is a char­ity and be­cause of that the po­lice are ac­count­able to them.

“All the calls they re­ceive are graded in terms of ur­gency and the po­lice have to ev­i­dence how they have re­sponded to a call.”

At the meet­ing it was pointed out by mem­bers of the com­mu­nity coun­cil that not ev­ery­one had ac­cess to the in­ter­net or were keen to pick up the phone as they were fright­ened of the reper­cus­sions of do­ing so. It was also com­mented on that call­ing the Po­lice Scot­land 101 num­ber was “very frus­trat­ing”.

Call­ing for a big­ger po­lice pres­ence in the town it was pointed out that some peo­ple even rely on the com­mu­nity coun­cil to re­port is­sues to coun­cil­lors and the po­lice on their be­half.

In­spec­tor Thom­son said that the crime rate in Blair­gowrie was rel­a­tively low.

He said: “The crime in Blair­gowrie is not huge, in gen­eral it is low level, it’s an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour.

“There is a po­lice pres­ence here but as a lo­cal res­i­dent my­self, we choose to live here be­cause it is safe.

“Be­tween Jan­uary 14 and July this year there were no house break-ins in the area.

“We need lo­cal in­for­ma­tion though, if you hear about some­thing then re­port it - if you phone it in then it gets recorded.

“We have a huge record­ing sys­tem, your call may not get ac­tioned im­me­di­ately but if there’s a pat­tern then we will get them.”

He added: “In some areas hous­ing of­fi­cers can act on be­half of res­i­dents.”

Non-ur­gent crime can be re­ported by con­tact­ing 101 or email­ing Tay­side-Blair­gowrie Glen­sCPT@Scot­land.pnn. po­

Al­ter­na­tively, to re­port an is­sue anony­mously, con­tact Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111.

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