Police chiefs blamed over crime stats

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One of the region’s former top cops criticised Police Scotland for failing to explain poor crime solvency figures at a meeting in Hawick Town Hall on Tuesday night.

Police presented figures to this week’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum that show a rise in recorded crime, as well as a drop in solvency rates.

And according to Hawick and Denholm councillor and retired top cop Watson McAteer, this just is not good enough.

Speaking this week, Mr McAteer said: “‘Learning that reported crime is increasing and solvency rates are down by almost 10 per cent is worrying enough, but to hear that the police in Hawick struggle to have the services of a crime analyst is beyond belief.

“The analysis of intelligence, crime patterns and behaviours are fundamental to dealing with the problem.”

And Mr McAteer is placing the blame firmly at the feet of Police Scotland chiefs and that no matter how good local officers are, they can only do so much.

He continued: “Given we are told that a key benefit of a national force is the sharing of such expertise and knowledge this state of affairs is simply not good enough.

“There is no doubt that local officers continue to try their best, but it appears they are doing so with their hands firmly tied behind their backs.”

Police reported an almost 10 per cent drop in solvency rates with 365 crimes solved in the ward last year compared to 333 this year, and recorded crime is up, with figures for 2014 showing 571 crimes compared to 616 this year.