Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Progress Reports/Updates on Service Matters


Chief Superintendent Clark advised that in response to an incident in Jedburgh, there had been the first deployment, by a specially trained officer, of a Taser in Scotland.  The deployment would be evaluated and any learning points  captured.  Chief Superintendent Clark, further advised that there had been an increase in drug deaths in the Scottish Borders, this reflected the national increase and there was no specific trend.  Work was ongoing to obtain intelligence and when completed an overview would be presented to the Board.  Chief Superintendent Clark concluded by advising that changes to the armed response deployment model meant that armed response officers were now dispatched to a wider range of incidents; a briefing could be presented to the Board if required.


5.2       Chief Inspector McLean then presented Police Scotland’s Scrutiny Report for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, copies of which had been circulated with the Agenda.  The report was in the new format, intended to be user friendly, and feedback would be appreciated. 


5.3       Domestic Abuse – During the period there was a 12% rise in the number of incidents reported, this reflected an increase in victims’ confidence in reporting incidents.  This enabled early engagement with the most appropriate support agency, such as the DAAS, and highlighted the importance of strong partnership working.  Early intervention had also reduced the number of future criminal acts.  


5.4       Road Safety – The report showed that there had been a reduction in all categories.  There had been an increase in educational initiatives provided within the Scottish Borders, such as the Drivewise project, Over 65s refresher training sessions and motorbike advance driving training. 


5.5       Violent Crime – There had been a 10% rise in Serious Assault, which Chief Inspector McLean clarified was partly due to a change in classification.  However, over the same period, there had been a 15% decrease in violent crime.    Inititiatives to reduce the impact of violent crime continued such as the Best Bar None scheme, No Knives, Better Lives programme and the continuation of weekend, high visibility patrols in problem areas


5.6       Antisocial Behaviour – The report detailed that there had been a 9% increase across all antisocial behaviour categories apart from disturbances.  Chief Inspector McLean quantified, that the increase was in relation to antisocial communications e.g. texts, apps and Facebook.   The Police Community Action Team (CAT) was working with the Safer Communities Team to target individuals and key areas.   Racially aggravated conduct had slightly decreased and the 94% detection rate was a positive reflection of the work being undertaken by police and partner agencies.


5.7       Drugs and Alcohol Misuse – Chief Inspector McLean advised that there had been an increase in drug related deaths.  Police Scotland had achieved success in severely disrupting supply and positive lines of enquiry were continuing.  


5.8       Protecting People – There had been a 2% reduction in missing person incidents.  Chief Inspector McLean clarified the classification grades, explaining the difference between low, medium and high grade incidents and the differing response dependent on classification.  He also referred to the vulnerable persons’ database which allowed the police to flag up concerns to relevant support agencies. 


5.9       Acquisitive Crime – There had been a 10% increase.  However, the last quarter had seen a decrease.   Prevention played an important role and Chief Inspector McLean highlighted the road check programme and fast response vehicle which had contributed to the decline.


5.10     Demand & Analysis - There had been 31,473 incidents reported, a 7% increase since 2016/17.  Of these incidents, 3,448 were reports of crime which highlighted the number of incidents which were not crime related and connected to mental health issues or supporting people in distress.  This was reflected nationally.


5.11     Chief Inspector McLean concluded his report by advising that during the period, Police Scotland had received 105 complaints, with 114 separate allegations.  There was a mix of reasons for the complaints, which could not be disclosed because of confidentiality. However, for an area as large as the Scottish Borders the number of complaints was considered low.  


5.12     In response to a question regarding unregistered charity bags being delivered to householders, Chief Inspector McLean advised that every incidence was investigated in conjunction with Trading Standards.   With regard to cybercrime, Chief Superintendent Clark advised that if an area was being targeted the public were made aware.    She highlighted that, due to implementation of the new banking protocol, a bank fraud had recently been prevented.   Regarding over 65s refresher driving training, Chief Inspector McLean explained  that attendees were given information on alternatives to driving and that GPs could advise patients on their fitness to drive.   Referring to the support offered to children using drugs and/or alcohol, Chief Inspector McLean clarified that support was linked through schools and there was also referrals made to Social Work.   The Board then discussed the sharing of information on crime matters and it was noted that it would be useful for the NHS to be included.


5.13     The Chairman thanked Chief Superintendent Clark and Chief Inspector McLean for their attendance and report. He advised that Councillor McAteer was pursuing the upgrading of CCTV and the Board would receive an update at the next meeting.  





            (a)        That an overview on the increase in drug related deaths be presented to the            Board;

            (b)       That a briefing on the armed response deployment model be presented        to the Board at a future meeting of the Board ; and

            (c)        The Chairman, Councillor McAteer, would update on CCTV at the next         meeting.





Scottish Borders Council

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