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Police / Isles show marked increase in recorded crime

RECORDED crime figures show a greater increase in Shetland last year than any other local authority area in Scotland.

The 2018/19 statistics buck the longer-term trend in falling crime across the country, which include Shetland showing the biggest drop in overall crime (49 per cent) over the past decade.

Recorded crimes in Shetland were up 22 per cent last year with Orkney (18 per cent) and the Western Isles (15 per cent) close behind. The overall figure for Scotland was for a one per cent rise.

Shetland also saw a huge (85 per cent) rise in recorded sexual crime in 2018/19 to 48 crimes and a 23 per cent rise in non-sexual crimes of violence. Nationally, sexual crimes recorded rose by eight per cent to the highest level seen since 1971.

Recorded crimes in low crime areas can very widely year on year because of the low number of offences, so caution is often advised when examining percentage increases.

There were only 16 non-sexual violent crimes in Shetland in 2018/19, ten in the Western Isles and 15 in Orkney.

Shetland’s crimes of dishonesty were the lowest in Scotland with 47 in every 10,000 head of population, compared with Edinburgh’s 364 per 10,000 and less than half the Scottish average.

Crimes of dishonesty were nonetheless up by 37 per cent on the previous year in Shetland. Fire raising and vandalism were up nine per cent and other crimes by 12 per cent.

The figures are contained in the bulletin Recorded Crime in Scotland 2018-19 which also showed national clear-up rates had risen slightly by 1.5 per cent to 51 per cent compared with the previous year.

Shetland had a total 1,259 recorded crimes and offences in 2018/19 compared with 997 in the Western Isles and 1,089 in Orkney – making the three lowest crimes areas in Scotland.