THE NUMBER of drug possession crimes recorded by police in Shetland in the first three quarters of 2019/20 was almost half that of the previous year.
Latest figures published by Police Scotland this week showed that there were 59 drug possession crimes recorded in the isles between 1 April 2019 to 31 December 2019.
This was a decrease from 112 for the same period in 2018.
Recorded crimes related to the supply of drugs, however, rose from eight to 12.
There was also a reduction of nearly a half when it came to the number of recorded instances of drink or drug driving offences, which stood at 12.
Elsewhere in the figures, the number of common thefts recorded more than doubled from 22 to 48 in the first three quarters of 2019/20, while theft by shoplifting rose from eight to 38.
There was also an increase in the number of recorded domestic abuse incidents of nearly 25 per cent – from 78 to 97.
In the first three quarters of the current financial year 46.4 per cent of domestic abuse incidents resulted in a crime report.
Eight rape crimes were recorded during the period – up from four the previous year, although only one of these was detected.
Recorded common assaults were up from 83 to 112, while instances of recorded vandalism were up from 64 to 80.
Police said more generally that the Highlands and Islands region continues to have one of the lowest crime rates in Scotland.
A reduction in total crime in the area was recorded during the last quarter-three period compared to the same period the previous year, while overall detection rates have increased.
Divisional commander chief superintendent George Macdonald said: “The Highlands and Islands remains one of the safest areas in Scotland which is testament to not just the efforts of our police officers and staff, special constables and youth volunteers but to the local communities we serve and the external partners we work closely alongside.
“This support is absolutely crucial and by building upon the strong relationships we already have, we can deliver better outcomes.”
It is noted, meanwhile, that all data included is provisional management information.
The data is extracted from Police Scotland internal systems which are “dynamic and continuously updated as investigations progress”.
This means that the rates of detected crimes during the first three quarters of 2019/20 – ones that are resolved in some form – may be somewhat skewed as they could relate to incidents recorded outwith the period.
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