Crime falls 49 per cent in 'safest ever' Fife
Published 10 Aug 2012 12:00 4 Comments
POLICE chiefs are celebrating after a report revealed that Fifers are now safer than ever - with crime rates almost halved over the past seven years.
The final annual report of outgoing chief constable Norma Graham showed that a whopping 16,720 less crimes were committed in the last year compared to figures from 2004-5 - a 49 per cent drop.
It has also been a record year for controlled drug seizures, with officers recovering narcotics worth more than £4 million in 2011-12.
The news has come as a welcome boost for Fife Constabulary following the recent controversies surrounding the jailing of former police inspector Richard Munro and the damning report on the investigation into the death of Lochgelly man Colin Marr.
The chief constable - who retires on 20th August - is also facing careless driving allegations in court.
In her fourth and final annual report, Mrs Graham highlighted how the "firmly established police and public partnership has been instrumental in cutting crime and making the Kingdom the safest it has ever been in the force's 62-year history".
Crime fell a further 4.3 per cent from last year's stats, meaning that crime in Fife has reached its lowest level since modern crime-recording standards were set in 2004.
Through working with community safety partners the police have also cracked down on violent crime, reducing it by 26 per cent in seven years.
The detection rate for these crimes has risen to 97.4 per cent - the highest level in Scotland.
Chief constable Graham said, "The key to Fife Constabulary's continued reductions in crime has been our vision of taking policing closer to the community.
"Policing is essentially about communities and for communities. It is this close partnership that has supported Fife Constabulary in cutting crime by 49 per cent in seven years."
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Aug 11, 08:19
Ive noticed a few anti Fife Constabulary posts on here recently & its a fact that like any other large organisation the Police Force has their faults.
I also realise that statistics can be reported in various guises.
Saying all that, its great to see that the crime rate is falling & the detection rate is rising.
Obviously the policies adopted by Chief Constable Graham have been working.
Its not good when you hear about Police corruption & every effort should be made to eradicate this but at the end of the day we need our Police Force & we should applaud the above achievements.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 2
Aug 13, 22:23
Mind you, crime being 'down' could be a mis-nomer, maybe it's just the reporting of particular crimes that are down since there's unlikely to be anything done about them so why bother reporting them - closing down late night parties in houses where even three streets away at 4am it sounds like you're in the thick of it, for example....
Recommend? Yes 6 No 1
Aug 15, 22:16
Real positive change delivered by the police force should indeed be applauded and there is no doubt a great deal of good work underway in Fife, undertaken by many dedicated officers and others. We need an efficient and effective police force that continually strives to serve the public better, while openly and honestly addressing poor performance where this occurs.
That said, the statistics refer to recorded crime rather than overall crime, whether recorded or not, so while they could well be very positive, the story may not be quite so good in reality. We simply do not know. Ever since the days of Bernard Ingham, I'm afraid that we cannot take at face value any 'good news stories' issued by any public body without looking carefully at the detail first. Bob's example above is a good illustration of one possible factor. There may be other factors at play that are outwith the control of the police - for example, housebreakings have been in decline for some years across the UK as folk no longer want to buy 'second hand' TVs and electronic goods. Similarly, modern cars are much tougher to steal, so car crime is also in long term decline. Neither of these phenomena has anything to do with police activity - our police could be completely useless yet the numbers would still be moving in the right direction.
By contrast, the snippet comparing Fife Constabulary's performance to the national average on clearing up violent crime tells a good story and represents the sort of comparative data that would give a better picture of whether our police are indeed performing well. I would like to see much more of that sort of information put in the public domain. Sadly, ACPOS have just today announced the binning of an IT project that would have allowed the public and others precisely to compare each police force's performance against others and therefore put pressure on them to deliver. Given that the project has already cost £7 million without delivering anything and the eight police forces are about to be merged, it is little surprise. But it's a shame that such a good idea has been so poorly implemented. That's public sector IT procurement for you, I suppose.
Fife Constabulary has not had a very good 2012 so far, to put it mildly, with some high profile events raising serious concerns about how they go about their business and whether and to what extent they are capable of learning from their mistakes. Responding to that is a big challenge that I hope they can rise to yet. Irrespective, at the turn of the year, I thought that the move to a single police force was a backward step. Sad to say, as a result of what has happened in Fife since then, now I think that day cannot come soon enough.
Recommend? Yes 9 No 0
Aug 21, 08:53
As a postscript to the IT point I made above, I am interested to see that Audit Scotland think that they do not have the power to investigate as ACPOS is a company limited by guarantee: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/8m-it-failure-beyond-probe.18618724 While it is nice that ACPOS is 'committed to making the findings from any review available for public scrutiny', this seems like quite a relaxed approach to holding individuals and orgabnisations accountable for their use of public money.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0