Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Police - Superintendent Andy Clark

(Copy attached.)


4.1    Superintendent Clark referred to ongoing national issues such as budget challenges and a number of emerging crimes such as cybercrime and changes to legislation.  In referring to the delivery of a quality service and building in the confidence of the public in the Borders he advised that in regard to divisional resources, 899 were deployed across 4 local authorities (West Lothian, East Lothian, Mid Lothian and the Scottish Borders).   This was made up of 20% Community Officers and 80% Response officers.    Response Officers were spread across the Scottish Borders in different locations and they would immediately respond in times of crisis and they were tasked by the area control room working where the demand was.   Community Officers worked out of three community policing areas.    He explained that morning meetings took place at 8.30 a.m. when Chief Inspector McLean would review what had happened over the past 24 hours, he would then feed the information to Superintendent Clark’s meeting and a decision would be taken on the priorities for the division at that point.    He assured Members that when demand and priority was in the Scottish Borders, the response would be from across the Division and he was comfortable that a first class local area Commander was in place to look after the area.  He referred to the dedication of Inspectors, Sergeants and Police Constables who would do their best for the Scottish Borders.    This was highlighted by the current investigation into the serious assault and robbery in Galashiels earlier in the month, which had seen a significant level of specialist resources from across the Division deployed to the case.         The Chairman asked if it would be possible for an Officer from Bilston Glen to attend the next meeting of the Board to give a presentation on the work being carried out in the control room at Bilston Glen and it was agreed that Superintendent Clark would action this.   In response to questions raised about Special Constables, Superintendent Clark advised that there was a significant amount of effort being spent at the moment on the recruitment of Special Constables.   There were difficulties retaining Special Constables because they sometimes used this as a stepping stone to becoming a regular Police Officer.   A question was raised relating to the general security of the network and Superintendent Clark advised that he would report on information relating to airwaves at a future meeting.


4.2    Discussions took place relating to Police Officer presentations at local area fora at which sometimes only a few community councillors were present and a question was asked about how the information could be filtered down to members of the community and Superintendent Clark gave information on police use of local media.    Mr Scott was asked to look into how SB Alert might be a useful link for this purpose. 


4.3    The Chairman advised that he hoped that a representative from both the Police Scotland Board and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services Board would be able to attend future meetings of this Board.   


4.4    Chief Inspector A. McLean presented the Police Progress report covering the period April 2016 to June 2016 which had been circulated. The report detailed the figures for the six Priority areas to date and compared them to the figures for the same period in 2014/15,


4.5    Priority 1 – Protecting People, referrals for the first quarter of 2016/17 were showing a 4.8% increase on the 2015/16 figures.   19 more adult at risk referrals had been made which was positive.


4.6    Priority 2 –Reducing Violence, Disorder and Antisocial Behaviour, showed a 19.1% increase in Common Assaults reported in the first quarter of 2016/17 when compared to 2015/16 and this equated to 33 more victims.    In respect of reducing the number of anti-social behaviour incidents there had been a 2.6 % reduction (33 fewer incidents) in the first quarter when compared to the same time period in 2015/16 which was positive.    With regards to increasing the reporting of hate crime, there had been a decrease in the number of recorded victims in the first quarter of 2016/17 compared to the same time period in 2015/16.     


4.7    Priority 3 - Tackling substance misuse.  During the period 01/04/2016 to 30/06/2016, officers in the Scottish Borders conducted a total of 81 stop and searches, of which 26 proved positive (32.1%).   There had been a 78.3% decrease in the number of visits to licensed premises, which equated to 350 fewer visits. 


4.8    Priority 4 - Making our Roads Safer, there had been a 40% increase (8 more casualties) in the first quarter of 2016/17 when compared to 2015/16.   The number of people killed this year to date was 7, which was 4 more fatalities than the first quarter last year.   The number of serious injuries had also increased compared to last year in the same time period


4.9    Priority 5 - Tackling serious and organised crime, cash seizures were lower than the value seized in the first quarter of 2015/16.  There were strict criteria which had to be present to allow seizures under the POCA legislation and unfortunately there had been occasions when the criteria had not been met, which meant no seizures could be made.   It was encouraging to see a 41.7% increase in the number of detections for drug supply in the first quarter of 2016/17 when compared to the same time period in 2015/16.  


4.10  Priority 6 -Tackling Acquisitive Crime.   There had been a decrease in the number of housebreaking to dwellings in the first quarter of 2016/17, with 3 fewer victims reported.   There had been a 37.5% reduction in theft of motor vehicles in the year to date which equated to 6 fewer victims of this type of crime.



(a)           NOTED the report.


         (b)          AGREED that Superintendent Clark would liaise with Officers from Bilston Glen and ask that a representative attend the next meeting of the Board to bring members up to date with work being carried out in the control room at Bilston Glen. 


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