Police Scotland’s Quarter 4 performance report for the 2021-2022 period shows that 10 fewer homicides were recorded than during the 2020-2021 period. Fewer attempted murders were also recorded in the comparison of the same two periods.
The data also showed an increase in fraud (+18.6%), but a decrease in domestic abuse offences (-1.7%). However, domestic abuse offences have increased by 3.7% compared to the five-year mean.
Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said the figures released were noticeable because the past year had been an exceptional period for the police and the effects of the pandemic on crime were still being felt.
As reported by Policing Insight, an 11.2% overall increase in violent crime was reported in parallel with a significant decrease during the 2020-2021 period (-10%), due to the restrictions in place at that time. The mean for the last five years (2.1%) provides more information on violent crime. The police force considers that a reduction in the number of homicides is welcome, but that there is still a long way to go in the fight against violence, including working with other partners to prevent crime.
Police Scotland is continuing to fight domestic abuse and specialist officers have been deployed across the country to tackle this type of crime. The comprehensive review they have commissioned of the police response to public protection will allow them to continue to adapt and respond to changing demand and vulnerabilities in this respect.
On the other hand, an increase in fraud has once again been recorded in this quarter, reaffirming that online policing is increasingly becoming a key part of frontline policing. Work on disrupting criminal activities and protecting the public is ongoing, with £6.46 million of fraud prevented through the implementation of the Banking Protocol alone.
The Quarter 4 performance report also details the results of Police Scotland’s Your Police survey, conducted between January and March 2022. With more than 14,000 citizen responses received, the survey brought valuable information on public opinion.
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said that interaction with citizens is fundamental to ensuring police legitimacy and key to enabling effective community policing. The public felt that things were being done well in terms of providing a consistent service and welcomed greater visibility and presence in areas that so require it.
In this regard, she expressed that the feedback they receive should be used to implement the policing approach, including the Annual Police Plan for the 2022-2023 period. She concluded by encouraging the public to participate in the surveys in order to influence police strategy.