Reported crime rates down for sixth year in N-E

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Latest figures show that the reported crime rate for the Grampian region is down for the sixth year in a row.

Grampian follows the Scottish trend for declining rates with recorded crime in the district falling by 35% since 2007.

2012/13 saw a 12% drop in recorded crime in the region, with non-sexual crimes of violence decreasing by 20% and the crime of handling offensive weapons down by 34% on last year.

SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West Dennis Robertson says the falling rates are thanks to SNP policies implemented since the nationalists won power at Holyrood in 2007.

Mr Robertson cited the increase in police officers in Grampian: “Since the SNP took office in 2007 the Grampian region now has over 1,500 police officers, which is also above the Scottish average. It is a testament to all those working within the police force that recorded crime in the region has fallen by 12% in the past year alone.

He added: “The efforts of the Scottish Government to reduce recorded crime since the SNP took the reins in 2007 have proved effective, and the reduction in crime by 35% in the Grampian region is highly commendable.”

But North- east Labour MSP Richard Baker pointed out that the trend was UK-wide: “It’s good to see crime falling in Grampian but the reality is that crime is falling across the UK and it would be a shock if this area bucked that trend. What is essential is that we continue to have an effective local policing policy to keep crime rates low. But there are fears that many police are coming off the beat to sit behind desks so they can cover the duties of hundreds of civilian staff who have lost their jobs under the SNP.”