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Notable Successes in Fight Against Vandalism

Issued: 14 Feb 2007

POLICE REVEAL NOTABLE SUCCESSES IN FIGHT AGAINST VANDALISM AS FORCE CAMPAIGN PREPARES TO LAUNCH

POLICE in Inverness have detected a large number of crimes of vandalism just as the Force prepares for the launch of its region-wide campaign against the crime.

Northern Constabulary will launch its Forcewide campaign against vandalism in March and figures released by Inverness Area Command this week show the detection of over 40 such crimes, committed in the Hilton area since January 1 this year.

All these crimes were committed by youths aged between 12 and 14, with the one exception being a child of just six-years-old.

The Hilton area has seen a number of crimes of vandalism take place since the beginning of the year and following some excellent work by Police and support from the local community, 42 crimes have now been detected.

The Area Command’s ongoing work in the Hilton area culminated last week with seven youngsters being reported to the Children’s Reporter in relation to number of vandalism offences each, totalling 42.

Vandalism is a notoriously difficult crime to detect and although Police employ pro-active tactics to identify offenders they say they cannot hope to eradicate what is a Forcewide problem without the support of their communities.

However, vandalism is not exclusive to one area of the city or indeed the Force and it is for that reason that the Force is embarking on its forthcoming campaign. Vandalism is far from being a victimless crime and can end up costing communities, individuals and the people whom commit these acts dearly.

Inverness Area Commander, Superintendent David O’Connor, said: “We have had a large number of calls to the Hilton area since the beginning of the year, reporting groups of youth committing indiscriminate acts of vandalism to property.

"We have deployed officers to that area over the past few weeks and this has resulted in a large number of vandalisms being detected. Police will continue to use high visibility patrols in Hilton including the use of the new mobile CCTV vehicle to deter and detect this type of crime.“

"We would like to thank the public for their assistance and urge people who see acts of vandalism being committed to call Police immediately as the sooner we are told of these incidents the more chance we have of bringing them to a successful conclusion.“

“Police would also urge people to report those acting suspiciously as they may be about to commit an act of vandalism.

He added: “These youths do not appreciate the costs to their families and the community as a whole and we are urging parents to keep tabs on their children. Given that one of those reported recently was only six-years old there is an onus on parents to know what their kids are doing and where they are.”

Inspector Gordon MacLeod, based within the Force’s Community Safety Section at Headquarters and one of the officers who has been tasked with spearheading the Force campaign, said: “The campaign will involve high profile Policing, education within schools and pro-active work.

“It is recognised that vandalism is a problem which affects not only the Force area but Scotland as a whole.

“We are urging our communities to join us in the fight against this type of crime which will inevitably hit members of the public in the pocket directly as well as indirectly.”

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