Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Rise in online crime is a concern


Crime has dropped across Lanarkshir­e by more than 2670 fewer incidents according to figures released by Police Scotland.

However, online crime has seen a rise of more than 60 per cent since 2018/2019.

Serious assaults are down by more than 30 across the region and there were six fewer homicides.

The Police Scotland figures showed 167 fewer incidents of housebreak­ings, with crimes involving the use of offensive or bladed weapons down by more than 90.

Recorded incidents of breach of the peace (which includes stalking) are also down by 577 against the same period last year.

However, indecent sexual assault is up by 36 and there were 49 more incidents of common assault.

Police Scotland’s Performanc­e Report also describes how recorded crime for crime types that typically contain an“online element”– including fraud, threats and extortion, communicat­ions and image offences – has increased by more than 60 per cent.

Divisional Commander, Chief Superinten­dent Alan Waddell, told the Advertiser:“these latest statistics show the changing policing needs of Lanarkshir­e’s communitie­s and will form the basis of localised policing plans to address priority areas.

“Online crime is still prevalent across the country and, locally, we have seen 151 more crimes of fraud which our cyber strategy will help us address as well as other crimes being committed in the virtual world.

“As we head into the festive season our communitie­s can expect to see greater visibility of officers on foot and mobile patrol and I hope the return of resources to the division will help strengthen public reassuranc­e.”

The report was published and presented to the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performanc­e Committee.

It will show the demand and challenges experience­d in the contact, command and control division which has led to increased 101 average answer times as emergency 999 calls continue to be prioritise­d.

Measures have been introduced to manage the ongoing high demand on the nonemergen­cy 101 service including changes to overtime payments for service centre staff.

It is anticipate­d these changes will increase uptake of overtime and further support the ability to manage peaks in demand.

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 ?? Divisional Commander, Chief Superinten­dent Alan Waddell ?? Changing policing needs
Divisional Commander, Chief Superinten­dent Alan Waddell Changing policing needs

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