The level of crime in the Highlands and islands has fallen over the past 12 months – according to figures released by the police.
A new report produced by regional commander Chief Superintendent Philip MacRae shows a drop of 1% compared with last year.
However, the number of offences recorded in some areas have increased, including sexual crimes, which have risen from 387 to 417 year-on-year.
The force said the statistics represented the successful achievement of a key target, with police having set themselves the goal of increased reporting of sexual crimes.
Officers believe that many crimes have previously gone unreported because victims were not comfortable coming forward.
Ch Supt MacRae will present his report to members of Highland Council’s scrutiny committee later this week.
The overall number of crimes has fallen from 5,804 to 5,741 year-on-year.
Mr MacRae also highlights a “strong” detection rate of 61%.
The number of violent crimes has dropped from 176 last year to 172, while the level of antisocial behaviour, such as malicious mischief and fire raising, has also dropped.
However, there has been a slight rise in crimes of dishonesty – from 2,099 to 2,156 year.
A key area in the local policing plan has been reducing the number of people killed on the roads, although at present this remains the same as last year at 12 to date.
The number of people seriously injured has dropped from 50 to 44.
Meanwhile, the number of people caught speeding has dropped substantially from 4,431 to 3,280 – a reduction of 1,151.
The drop actually presents a failure to meet targets by police – who had been aiming to increase the number of drivers detected for speeding.
However, officers say activity on the roads has remained consistent over the period, suggesting the reduction is a genuine drop.
The most significant rise has been in the reporting of sexual crimes – while the detection rate for both sexual crimes and domestic violence has dropped.
In his report Ch Supt MacRae said: “Police Scotland are moving away from targets in relation to crimes of this nature.
“Inquiries in relation to sexual crimes and domestic abuse are focused on positive outcomes for victims of crime and led by their wishes.”