Dundee’s MSPs today welcomed official statistics announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill today which show that recorded crime in Tayside has dropped by nearly a quarter in the last year – on the same day that other official figures showed the number of police officers in Tayside has risen by 66, part of a Scotland-wide record increase of 1,190.
In Tayside, there were 3,588 fewer crimes last year while crime rates have dropped in 31 out of 32 Council areas across Scotland.
The latest Police Quarterly Strength figures were published today, showing that, as at 30 June 2010, there were 17,424 police officers in Scotland – a record high and 1,190 more than there were in March 2007.
Welcoming the statistics, Joe FitzPatrick said: “Despite popular preceptions, crime is falling dramatically and in Dundee there has been a 23% drop – nearly a quarter – from 15,512 recorded crimes in 2006-7 to 11,924 crimes in 2009-10. Crime in Scotland is at its lowest rate for over 30 years. This is excellent news but it is not a surprise because there are more police officers across Scotland than ever before, with an additional 1,190 on the streets.
“The number of police officers in Tayside has risen by 66 from 1,154 in March 2007 to 1,220 in June 2010.
“The Scottish Government has more than exceeded its pledge to recruit 1,000 extra police officers and this is having a direct impact in our communities by preventing crime and improving detection rates.”
Commenting on the publication of the statistics, Dundee East MSP Shona Robison said: “We have provided record levels of police funding this financial year, £1.4 billion – a 20 per cent rise since 2006-07.
“The Scottish Government’s budget for next year will not be known until the UK Government’s Spending Review in October but despite the cuts coming our way from Westminster, we will be doing our best to ensure that we continue to protect front-line services – including our police forces – and work to deliver economic recovery.
“This will be a challenge, but maintaining our improved spending on front-line policing will remain a top priority. It has clearly been a big success so far but the public have a part to play too.
“We all have a responsibility to provide the police with the information that can help them detect crime – or to prevent crime happening in the first place. The police can only help communities become safer places to live if they have the full support of those communities.”