Police Scotland officers in the Lothians and Scottish Borders continue to support their communities

9th December, 2021 11:18 am

Police Scotland officers in the Lothians and Scottish Borders have continued to support the needs of their communities throughout a highly demanding summer period.

Latest figures published today, reveal a slight rise in some crime categories for the Q2 period, April to September, when compared to the same period last year, when varying restrictions relating to the pandemic were in place.

While traditionally underreported, reports of sexual crime rose from 508 to 707 during the first half of 2021-22, when compared to the same period last year, in line with national trends.

Local police officers are supporting Police Scotland’s national ThatGuy sexual offending prevention campaign, which aims to get men to take responsibility for their actions and language, as part of work to reduce and prevent sexual offending.

Assaults overall have also seen a slight rise, in line with national trends and sadly, assaults on emergency workers have risen from 220 to 252.

Protecting vulnerable people is a local policing priority and officers from Lothians and Scottish Borders are currently involved in a new pilot safeguarding scheme designed to locate autistic adults and children when they are reported as missing.

The Autistic Missing Person Protocol (AMPP) has been developed by the police and Scottish Autism in partnership with education, health and social care partners and is being piloted throughout the Lothians and Scottish Borders.

This protocol has been created to address the specific needs of people and families living or working with autism and to improve the support offered to them.

Catriona Paton, Divisional Commander, said: “The circumstances created by COVID-19 continue to have an impact on crime and offence levels which are changing in line with the gradual easing of restrictions and return to normality.

“As has been underlined by the Chief Constable, the summer period presented an exceptional level of demand on officers and staff, including displaced demand from our emergency service partners who continue to operate under critical pressure.

“Our division has continued to enhance support for vulnerable people as a key divisional priority and we are proud to be piloting the AMPP, working closely with other partner organisations.

“Sexual offences are traditionally underreported crimes and therefore it is important to remember that any increase in reporting does not necessarily mean an increase in the incidence of sexual crime. Overall sexual offences are still under reported and the reasons for this are complex in nature.

“Our officers and staff are committed to tackling sexual crime and are working every day to proactively target these issues. I would encourage anyone who is a victim of a sexual crime to come forward to report it to us, we have specially trained officers available here to support you and your complaint will be taken seriously.

“The summer period was extremely busy for officers and staff and for our emergency service partners who also continue to operate under huge pressure as our communities emerge from pandemic restrictions.

“Therefore I would also like to thank all the officers and staff who have worked so hard to support our communities over this period of high demand while continuing to protect the vulnerable and to support our communities.”

The Performance Report will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority Policing Performance Committee on Wednesday, 9 December.

Source: Scotland Police, December 2021

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