CAR security is better than ever but Fife police admit it’s now so good that criminals are targeting houses instead. 

With sophisticated alarms and immobilisers making it harder to get into and steal vehicles, there’s a been a rise in the number of thieves breaking into homes to take the car keys. 

It’s one of the current trends and future issues identified in a report to Fife Council by chief superintendent Colin Gall, Fife’s divisional commander. 

He said: “An emerging disadvantage of improved vehicle security is the increase in housebreakings to facilitate the theft of cars by true key (the actual key) whilst, conversely, advances in vehicle technology will positively impact on road safety by mitigating driver error.”

Mr Gall said that technology and social media could also pose problems for the force with increases in online fraud, hate crime, domestic abuse and drug-dealing. 

The chief added that policing plans had to be flexible to cope with changes and explained: “Cyber-enabled criminality is increasing and technological developments will continue to impact upon all of our priorities. 

“Technology is already facilitating a multitude of acquisitive crimes, especially online fraud, whilst the increasing use of social media is providing greater opportunities for hate incidents, threats, domestic abuse and other violence. 

“The internet and social media are also being used by individuals to facilitate the illegal sale and distribution of drugs.”

Mr Gall said societal change could lead to an increase in the number of vulnerable people as rising life expectancy “will bring further challenges as our ageing population may be more susceptible to bogus and cyber crimes”. 

On the plus side, he identified the government’s intention to introduce drug-drive limits and the imminent changes to the driving test as positives that would improve road safety. 

Mr Gall said changes in the laws surrounding domestic abuse – which recognise psychological and non-physical abuse as offences – and abusive behaviour and sexual harm, relating to revenge porn, would also have an impact on their work. 

While the moves are viewed as positives, he said they were likely to lead to an increase in the number of offences reported. 
Councillors were told that the five local policing priorities, in the Fife

Division Policing Plan for 2017-20, are: 

Anti-social behaviour.

Substance misuse.

Acquisitive crime.

Violent crime.

Road safety. 

The chief superintendent added: “In addition to these priorities and operations, we cannot lose sight of other national issues and priorities. 

“These include a focus on serious and organised crime, our ongoing response to the threat from terrorism in Scotland and protecting those in our community who are at risk of harm, particularly as they travel from place to place and/or attend events.”