New report shows dramatic fall in Aberdeen assaults

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Assaults in Aberdeen have experienced an “unprecedented” drop, according to a new police report.

The figures, which will go before Aberdeen City Council’s public protection committee next week, reveal common assaults are down from 1,566 during April to September 2017, to 1,333 the same period last year.

And there has been a 19.5% decrease when compared to the average number of incidents over the past five years.

The report, which looks at offences recorded and detected from April to September last year, states: “The reduction in common assault over the last five years is unprecedented and is a direct result of effective partnership working and targeting offenders.”

However, the number of serious Group 1 offences has increased by 40, the report explains. The majority of these offences are considered to be historic.

Group 1 offences, or crimes of violence, can include murder, serious assault or robbery, among others.

Between April and September last year, 241 of the serious incidents were recorded, compared to 201 during the same period in 2017, a rise of nearly 20%.

Substantial drops were also recorded in other elements of antisocial behaviour, violence and disorder.

The level of vandalism recorded in the city has dropped by 251, from 1,082 to 831, a 29.8% decrease on the five year average.

A drop of 15 racially aggravated incidents has also been recorded, down 36% on the combined average.

The past year has also seen a major drive by the north-east division to stem the number of acquisitive crimes that could be easily prevented.

This new report shows a substantial drop across the number of acquisitive crimes reported, as well as a jump in the number of crimes that are detected.

Housebreakings dropped by 48.2% when compared to the five-year number, with 247 incidents recorded, compared to 348 during the same period one year earlier.

The report states: “Our intelligence-led approach of targeting offenders, combined with effective preventative work and visibility, has resulted in a dramatic downturn in this, at times traumatic, crime type.

“While these reductions are welcome, we fully appreciate the impact and inconvenience that being the victim of such a crime can have on members of the public.

“We will continue to use all information and intelligence at our disposal to focus resources in the right areas at the right time to prevent these crimes.”

Campbell Thomson, chief superintendent of the north-east division, said in the report: “I am particularly pleased to report a reduction in overall recorded crime with significant drops in violence and acquisitive crime.

“Our local focus on partnership working, combined with an effective use of our resources to prevent crime and protect those at risk, is having a positive impact on the city.

“It is particularly noteworthy that our detection rates continue to improve with our overall performance being consistently strong and above the national average.” Ch Supt Thomson re-affirmed his commitment to working with communities to prevent and detect crime.

He said: “It is clear to me that in order to achieve and deliver effective services and long-term solutions within our communities, effective local community planning arrangements are key.

“The progress made over the last year and results delivered over the last reporting period are testimony to our very positive working relationships.”

The report also details a substantial rise in the amount of Group 2 crimes that have been reported, which include rape, sexual assault and prostitution.

Officers have said that a total of 370 such crimes were reported, up from 334 in the same period the year before and 26.1% above the five-year average.

Reports of rape have also jumped from 41 to 59, 41.8% above the five year average, which the division has said is down to more people coming forward as opposed to more incidents taking place.