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There have been cases of assault and fraud across the Highlands and Islands in recent months compared to the 'lockdown' year of 2020-21.

Police officers and staff across the Highland and Islands region have continued to support communities as figures published today (Monday December 6) reveal a slight rise in some recorded crime categories during the first half of 2021-22, compared to the same period last year.

Theres are rise in sex crimes, too - but that is ascribed to more people being confident enough to report them

Officers with Police Scotland in the Highlands and Islands were faced with a busy summer period as coronavirus restrictions eased and the country returned to some level of normality. 

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett said: “The Highland and Islands area continues to be one of the safest places to live in Scotland, but we are not immune to issues faced elsewhere.

“During this period we have seen an increase in serious and common assaults being recorded as well as a rise in fraud.

“Supporting victims of sexual crime and targeting perpetrators is a priority and we welcome the increase in recorded sexual crimes as confidence in reporting grows.

"However, we know there is still much more to do to improve reporting of traditionally under-reported crimes such as sexual offending. The innovative ThatGuy campaign underlines the importance of this work and we remain committed to taking action against perpetrators.

“The decrease in the number of people killed on our roads is welcome, however road traffic offences continues to be an area of focus as we continue our commitment to improving road safety. To that end, we have recorded an increase in road traffic offences including dangerous and careless driving, drink/drug driving, speeding and seatbelt offences.

"We will continue to work closely with our colleagues in the Road Policing Division to take action and make our roads a safe place for all.

”Comparing statistics is always challenging as there is a unique set of circumstances behind every incident and the different levels of restrictions faced due to coronavirus will have an impact for some time to come. One thing that remains unchanged however, is the commitment from officers and staff to make the Highland and Islands Division a safe place for all.”

The Performance Report will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performance Committee on Thursday, 9 December.