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Police / Local police have top detection rate in Scotland

Chief inspector Stuart Clemenson.

THE SHETLAND police force currently has the highest detection rate in the whole of Scotland.

Area commander Stuart Clemenson said the figure of 87.58 per cent was “absolutely fantastic”.

The percentage compares to a Scotland-wide rate of 70.99 per cent. In Orkney it is 86.03 per cent and the Western Isles are at 86.88 per cent.

Police Scotland says a crime or offence is regarded as having been detected where there “exists a sufficiency of evidence under Scots Law to justify consideration of criminal proceedings”.

Figures presented to a meeting of the Shetland Community Safety and Resilience Board said there were 749 crimes/offences recorded in the isles between 1 April and 31 December last year.

But Clemenson said in a report to board members that interpretation of statistics and comparisons to the previous year “can be difficult and one should be wary of drawing hasty conclusions”.

“The full consequences of lockdown and the hidden harms many members of our communities experienced have yet to be fully realised, but our commitment will be to work towards the new normal and an acceptance that Covid-19 will be with us moving forward,” he wrote.

Meanwhile Clemenson highlighted the investment due to come into police estate in Shetland, with just over £1 million pledged for upgrades for the year ahead.

The police service has 12 houses for staff in Shetland alongside stations in Lerwick, Brae and Yell.

The houses are also located in Lerwick, Brae and Yell and the hope is to give them much needed maintenance.

The area commander – who took up his post last month – also stressed the importance he places on having officers out on patrol.

“Our focus will be to get as many police officers out there as we possibly can,” Clemenson said.

But Lerwick councillor and former police chief Malcolm Bell said he could not remember the last time he saw police officers out walking in public.

Clemenson noted, however, that policing these days is often less about physically patrolling streets and can be more about driving in vehicles.

He also suggested resources can be stretched if officers have to attend incidents across the length and breadth of Shetland.