Housebreaking incidents and drug offences across the north and north-east are falling as crime rates return to levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Police Scotland statistics covering April 2021 to December last year revealed the downward trend.
During that time, housebreakings including unauthorised attempts to enter properties fell from 556 to 525 across the force’s north-east division.
And across the Highlands and Islands, the figure for the same type of incidents declined from 211 to 149.
Covid caused violent crime drop
Coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions are credited with causing violent crimes to fall significantly throughout the Covid crisis.
But easing of the public health measures over the last few months is now blamed for crimes of violence beginning to increase again.
The north-east division reports that serious assaults and robbery, including assault with intent to rob, have risen by 62 and 26 incidents respectively.
Colleagues in the neighbouring Highlands and Islands division reported the same grouping of offences went up by five.
‘We will not simply accept this rise’
Chief Superintendent Kate Stephen, Divisional Commander for North East Division, said: “I want to make it clear that we will not simply accept this rise, but will do all we can to understand and address the increase, support victims and bring offenders to justice”.
In the north, sex crimes fell from 501 to 494, including reductions for rape and attempted rape.
But in the north-east sexual offences rose more than a quarter from 1,020 to 1,302 – an increase of over 27%.
Fraud offences are becoming more prevalent across Scotland, with online crime on the rise across both regions.
This year, 1,472 crimes of that nature have been recorded across the north-east, compared with 967 during the same period of the previous year.
Throughout the Highlands and Islands, reported fraud rose this year from 336 in 2020/21 to 454 for the latest period covered by the performance report.
Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett, Divisional Commander for Highland and Islands Division, said: “With fraud rising across the country due to the growing prevalence of cyber offences, the enhanced investment in cyber investigation, as part of Police Scotland’s Cyber Strategy, is an important step forward in tackling these crimes.
“I am really encouraged to see some positive reductions in crimes such as housebreaking, rape and attempted rape.
“However, we cannot become complacent and must continue to work in collaboration with key partners to address areas where there have been rises in reported offences.”