Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Police Force of Scotland - 'J' Division Spotlight.

Update report by Police Inspector detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Cheviot area. 




4.         There was no representation from Police Scotland, although there had been a report submitted.   The report provided an update to the Cheviot Area Forum on performance, activities and issues across the Ward for the period up to 30 November 2015.  The Ward Plan Priorities for Kelso and District were highlighted as Dishonesty, Road Safety, Antisocial Behaviour and Drug Dealing and Misuse of Drugs.   The Ward Plan Priorities for Jedburgh and District were highlighted as Drug Dealing and Misuse, Road Safety, Anti-Social Behaviour and Rural Crime.  Local Officers had carried out dedicated parking patrols to both enforce legislation and discourage inconsiderate parking but continued to get complaints from Kelso Community Council and members of the public in relation to inconsiderate parking.  It was disappointing to receive these complaints and enforcement action would continue in the coming weeks.  In terms of Thefts/Crimes of Dishonesty, the Kelso area continued to be targeted by opportunist thieves and the Police were asking Residents to continue to be vigilant.  Drug offences continued to be targeted and there had been three large scale cannabis cultivations located in the Scottish Borders with significant seizures.  The Police were asking people to plan ahead when on a night out and take heed of the following advice –


·         charge your mobile, remember to take it with you and think about how you’ll get home.

·         Book a taxi from a reputable company or arrange for a family member or friend to pick you up.

·         If drinking alcohol, be sensible about how much you consume. A drunk person is a far easier target for a criminal.

·         Don’t leave drinks unattended.

·         Don’t use drugs or New Psychoactive Substances, sometimes misleadingly called ‘legal highs’. Legal doesn’t mean safe – they can contain toxic and harmful chemicals. Why risk your life?

·         Stick with friends – don’t leave nights out on your own or with strangers.

·         Take care of each other and make sure you all get home safely.

·         Stay safe on your journey home - never take isolated short cuts. Keep to busy areas and on public transport, sit where there are lots of other people. If you’re using a taxi, make sure it’s licensed.

·         Drivers should be mindful that partygoers, particularly those under the influence of alcohol can step out / stagger onto the road without warning. Slow down when in crowded areas.

  4.1      In terms of Jedburgh and District, it was reported that a number of stop/searches were carried out in September, October and November.  One individual had been charged with being concerned in the supply of controlled substances following a house search in Jedburgh in November.  In separate incidents, two other males had been charged after being found in possession of a controlled substance.  Three large-scale cannabis cultivations had been located in the Scottish Borders with significant seizures this year in properties which had been vacant.  If people suspected a property that could not be seen into or they had the blacked out windows or was boarded up, then they were asked to call to the police or Crimestoppers and these calls would be followed up and action taken.  In terms of road safety, a total of 13 road checks were carried out in the ward area during the last quarter (September/October/November) up to 30 November 2015, and as a result three drivers had been issued with warnings for the anti-social use of a vehicle.  Also during this period, one male had been charged with drink driving and six drivers had been charged with careless driving, as well as documentation offences in the Jedburgh and St Boswells areas and highlighted the worth of the pro-active road checks Officers carried out.  Two parking tickets and one warning had been issued in Jedburgh during the past 3 months.  In terms of Anti-social behaviour only one fixed penalty tickets had been issued over the reporting period for anti-social behaviour.  A numbers of other individuals had been reported for breaches of the peace.  The Police continued to engage with those responsible for any youth antisocial behaviour in the ward area and the Community Beat Officer and Locality Integration Officer regularly discussed youth issues and had carried out joint foot patrols over recent weeks to interact with young people and prevent anti-social behaviour.  Rural crime continued with a few minor rural crimes over the last few months but nothing of major concern.  Officers were out and about at farms with the Select DNA information packs and using the opportunity to provide security advice to those living in rural areas.  The issue of Cybercrime had been raised as a concern to the rural communities and whilst cybercrime would not differentiate between a rural/urban area, the rural communities were now more aware of the issue. This had been influenced by the progress towards improving broadband in these areas, a greater reliance on IT coupled with the Scottish Government moving to online payments for farming subsidies providing opportunities for online scams. These changes, added to the increase in the general population's reliance on the internet and an increased awareness of cybercrime, resulted in 63% of respondents to an NFU Mutual survey saying they were concerned about cybercrime.

            In terms of Initiatives and Planned activity it was reported that Police Scotland's national festive safety campaign was launched on Wednesday 18th November 2015 and would cover a four-week the campaign would focus on the following four strands:


Week 1 - Online Safety (18th Nov - 24th Nov)

Week 2 - Shop Safety (25th Nov - 1 Dec)

Week 3 - Party Safety (2nd Dec - 9th Dec)

Week 4 - Home Safety (9th Dec - 15th Dec)


4.2       The Police would continue to target drink driving offenders in the coming weeks and a year on from the introduction of the change in drink drive limits on the 5th December 2014, it was important that drivers did not become complacent in relation to the drink drive limits.  One drink could put a driver over the limit and if a person intended to drive the simplest and best message was do not drink any alcohol.  People were reminded not to drive the next day until they were sure that they were clear of alcohol.  The impact of being caught for drink driving, living in a rural community was very significant so people were reminded to plan ahead and not take the risk.  The weather in Scotland was notoriously unpredictable at the best of times and none more so than during the winter months. Being prepared for winter can be as easy as a few simple steps before planning a journey on the road.


·         Check the weather forecast and road conditions

·         If the weather is poor or the road surface is dangerous, consider whether you need to travel right now or if you can wait until the situation improves

·         Allow extra time for your journey

·         Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged

·         Let people know where you are going and when you expect to arrive.


4.3       Drivers should keep vehicles well maintained and stocked with essential supplies before taking to the road and take special care that brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wiper blades are in good condition and consider keeping an emergency kit in their car for severe weather, which should at least include:

·       An ice scraper and de-icer

·       A shovel for snow

·       A torch and spare batteries

·      Warm clothes, boots and a blanket

·      Some food and a warm drink in a flask

·      First aid kit

·      Battery jump leads

·       A map or device with offline maps for any unplanned diversions.



            NOTED the report.



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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