Crime levels in the Highlands and Islands continue to be among the lowest in Scotland.

A reduction in total crime was recorded during the last Quarter 3 period compared to the same period the previous year (1 April to 31 December), including reductions in sexual crimes, crimes of dishonesty and anti-social behaviour. Overall detection rates have also increased, in particular in relation to violent crime with officers recording one of the highest rates in the country (82.5%).

The Police Scotland 2019-20 Quarter 3 Performance Report will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Thursday (27 February).

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent George Macdonald said: “The Highlands and Islands remains one of the safest areas in Scotland which is testament to not just the efforts of our police officers and staff, Special Constables and youth volunteers but to the local communities we serve and the external partners we work closely alongside. This support is absolutely crucial and by building upon the strong relationships we already have, we can deliver better outcomes.

“The figures highlighted in the Q3 report will serve as a benchmark moving forward as we continue find innovative ways of Policing to help keep people safe and identify people at risk. I continue to ask our communities to let us know your concerns so that we can dedicate our resources to the right places at the right times to target the right people.”

Group 1 crimes (non-sexual crimes of violence) have increased (234 from 202) however 55 of these crimes were recorded under the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 which was not accounted for last year. This innovative new law is making a significant difference, with many victims of domestic abuse who may not have been identified before now gaining access to the support they need. Nationally there have been 1,313 crimes recorded against the new Act.

Chief Superintendent Macdonald added: “We will continue to prioritise our resources towards issues that cause the most harm to people and communities, drawing on the support of national resources including Roads Policing, Operational Support and the Specialist Crime Division. It is also crucial that we continue to identify opportunities presented by technology to improve effectiveness and maximise the amount of time officers spend in local communities.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for your continued support.”

For further information - www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/our-performance/