THE number of crimes taking place in Fife has risen in the last quarter, figures have revealed.

Between April and June, recorded criminal incidents rose to 4,224 compared to the 4,189 which took place in the same period in 2022.

Included within the increase in overall crime is a rise in the number of violent offences.

While there have been no murders or culpable homicides, there have been five more attempted murders and eight more serious assaults compared to the previous year's figures. In total, the number of violent crimes recorded rose from 174 to 215.

One area that saw a positive reduction was sexual crime which fell from 410 to 361.

While there has been an additional six reports of rape and assault with intent to rape, indecent and sexual assaults reduced from 150 to 109.

There has also been a significant reduction in the numbers being hurt on Fife’s road network, with overall road casualties down from 73 to 29.

This includes one fewer fatal collision than last year (down from two to one), 11 fewer serious injury collisions and 32 fewer slight injury collisions.

The reduction in road casualties was in tandem with a reduction in the total number of motoring offences recorded within the division, which have fallen from 1,972 to 1,720. This includes 21 fewer dangerous driving offences and a decrease in the numbers driving without a licence, not wearing a seatbelt and using mobile phones while driving.

Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan, Divisional Commander for Fife, said the overall rise in recorded crime reflected the "overwhelming" level of demand the division and country as a whole is experiencing.

"Across Scotland, over 600,000 calls to police were received between April and June 2023 and over 420,000 incidents recorded." he said. "As has been discussed by Police Scotland’s Executive, we must make a number of hard choices to prioritise our resource and provide the best level of policing service to the public within, while prioritising the crime types that have the most significant and adverse effect on our communities.

“We recognise the work required in relation to the rise in crime, including violent offences and will continue to work alongside key partners to ensure we appropriately address this increase, bring perpetrators to justice and support victims.

"We will also continue to relentless in our pursuit of those individuals responsible for sexual crime and offending against children.

“I cannot emphasise enough that demand on policing is now vast and at levels never before experienced. The daily challenge to find resources to respond to the needs of our communities is relentless and means, at times, we may have to prioritise certain crime types over others, with crimes against the person being the priority. Some may view this as a reduction in service but that will be necessary to protect others."

Chief Superintendent McEwan said mental health related calls continued to take up officers time.

"It is now common place for officers to spend many hours at hospital with individuals in mental health crisis." he explained. "This has now reached a level never seen before in my 29 years in policing.

"Resolving this issue with partners will continue to be something we will focus our efforts.

“I want to thank our officers and staff and all that they do. We are achieving far more with far fewer available officers. That unfortunately presents its own problems.

“The public have an important role to play in helping us identify the policing priorities for Fife by taking our Your Police Survey available on our website at”