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Excellent detection rates and reducing crime reported in Force's Annual Report

Issued: 27 Aug 2010

Chief Constable, Ian Latimer, confirmed that the Highlands and Islands continues to be one of the safest places in the UK, with continuing low levels of recorded crime and high rates of crime detection, when he presented his ninth Public Performance Report to the Northern Joint Police Board today.

He said: "The report reflects the significant achievements of Northern Constabulary over the past financial year and I hope, emphasises my continuing personal commitment to the delivery of effective and efficient police services which are focused on meeting local needs.

"I believe that our traditional approach to policing, where police officers live and work within their communities, marks Northern Constabulary as a distinctive police organisation.

"It is evident that last year was a successful one for Northern Constabulary. At a local level, our police officers and Police staff are to be commended for working to generate a range of improved policing services and for working to achieve results in an environment that increasingly involves application of stringent and demanding standards of audit and inspection."

Mr Latimer revealed that the pleasing trend continues in the first four months of this year: "The trend of reducing crime continues in the current year with 4% fewer crimes across classes 1 to 5 and a notable drop in vandalisms of around almost 20%.

"Detection rates also continue to remain high at 63.6%, a slight increase on the previous year. The Force is now benefiting from the implementation of the Force Review recommendations, in increased officer numbers, availability, visibility and proactivity.

"There has been a focus on increased visible officer patrols to enhance the safety and wellbeing of our communities and excellent results have been achieved throughout the Force area through the beneficial effect proactive police initiatives have had on quality of life."

Mr Latimer warned, however, that the downward trend in crime could not continue indefinitely.

He said, "We have reaped considerable benefits from the significant increase in officer strength over the past two years and this is reflected in the excellent results announced today.

"However, I don't expect that crime rates can continue to fall for much longer. We are facing tremendous challenges in policing over the coming months and years and the cuts to policing budgets will inevitably have an impact on police officer numbers and availability, as well as the support functions behind the scene.

"This in turn will make it significantly more difficult to sustain the low crime rate and excellent detection rates which we are currently delivering.

"However, these outstanding results set a strong foundation for all the future police work in the Highlands and Islands in the coming months and years. We are a small force but highly efficient and we will continue to work together to continue to ensure that the communities of the Highlands and Islands continue to be a safe place to live and work in the future."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme