Police concede that solvency rate is ‘disappointing’

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Police in the Hawick area have solved 15 per cent less crime this year to date compared to the same time period in 2013.

And solvency rates across the the whole of the Borders show a drop of 6.67 per cent. The report to Tuesday’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum also shows a drop in reported crime in both the Hawick area and the Borders.

Police Inspector Carol Wood, who usually gives a verbal report to the forum, did not attend Tuesday’s meeting in lesser lown hall to explain the 15.33 per cent drop and her report was read out by chairman and councillor George Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull said: “I have apologies from Inspector Carol wood who is busy with the Queen’s Baton Relay, but I really do think that pre police Scotland we had a service comparable to the Ritz anad now we have McDonald’s.”

And former top cop Watson McAteer added: “This is quite a drop and it would have been useful to have had someone here tonight to offer an explanation.”

This year to date, 91 crimes have been recorded in the area, 47 have been solved, giving a clear up rate of 51.65 per cent. Last year in the same period, there were 106 crimes, of which 71 were solved, a 66.98 per cent solvency rate.

Borders wide detection rates have also fallen and so far this year 485 crimes have been recorded with a clear up of 243, which is just over half at 50.10 per cent against a comparable time period last year which showed a clear-up rate of 56.77 per cent from 495 reported and 281 solved crimes.

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor McAteer said an explanation is needed: “On the face of it a 15 per cent reduction in the rate of crime solvency is a very worrying statistic and hopefully not the start of a trend that sees Hawick and the Borders fall into line with other areas of the country. Failing to detect crime can of course be down to a range of factors, including the lack of witnesses or evidence, but more worryingly it can also be attributed to the lack of police officers and resources. Police Scotland should explain why there has been a decline and provide assurance that action is being taken.”

And in a statement to the Hawick News, Inspector Carol Wood, pictured, said: “Whilst acknowledging that the solvency figures for reported crime for the year to date are disappointing, we should not lose sight of the fact we are only two months into a 12-month reporting period.

“The first two months figures of 2013 were exceptional and over the coming months there is an expectation that the solvency figure for this year will improve.

“It should also be highlighted that there has been a decrease in reported crime by approximately 14 per cent over the same period this year.

“Police Scotland will endeavour to ensure Hawick remains a safe place to live.”