Police chiefs have revealed that crime levels in Aberdeen city centre plummeted over the festive period, following an overall 32% drop over the past three years.
The force says that while calls only decreased from 932 to 901 between December 3 until January 2, the number of those which resulted in crimes being recorded dropped by 18% from last year.
And Inspector Murray King said the reduction followed a previous 14% decrease from 2016 to 2017.
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The number of crimes recorded in the heart of Aberdeen stood at 530 during the Christmas period in 2016, and reduced to 437 in 2017 before falling further to 358 most recently.
Insp King partially attributed the figures to the success of a city centre “problem solving” team, which was launched in March and has led to an increase of “bobbies on the beat” using old fashioned tactics to tackle crime.
The six-officer unit keeps a watchful eye over the area on foot and bicycle and has been praised for reducing crimes of violence to “an all-time low”.
Insp King said: “The number of incidents we were required to attend went from 932 over the festive period last year to 901 this time, but the number of actual crime reports that were raised went down by 18% from the same period last year.
“That is following a reduction from the previous year and I think the ‘problem solving’ team has been key to that.
“Although there is only quite a small reduction in the number of calls, the number of criminal-related ones are going down.
“Many of them aren’t what you would consider traditional police calls, we are called to reports of concern about people with mental health problems and other vulnerabilities.”
Addressing a meeting of the Aberdeen City Centre Community Council, Insp King noted that even “Mad Friday”, which fell on December 21, was “a good night without a great deal of incidents”.
The Christmas Market on Broad Street, meanwhile, was praised as one of the “highlights” of the season.
Insp King said: “There were one or two minor calls which were dealt with in a straightforward manner, but it seemed to be a roaring success.”