Police taken to task over ‘spiralling trend’

Hawick councillor Watson McAteer has slammed the latest crime solvency rates for the town and he says police must attend local meetings.

The latest Police Scotland figures show a drop of 11.51 per cent and also records an increase in reported crime of 8 per cent.

No representative from the police attended Tuesday’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum in the town hall and this has angered Mr McAteer, a former top cop, who said: “When we are getting this level of crime solvency rates then someone has to come along to these meetings to explain these very poor returns.

“We are due an explanation at the very least. This is below the benchmark and we need to have someone from Police Scotland here.”

Councillor George Turnbull added: “This will be minuted and we will make sure that the police come along to the next meeting.”

Councillor Davie Paterson, who said he’d tried to contact the police but with little success using the 101 number, said: “I am very disappointed at these crime figures.”

Mr Turnbull continued: “I have had several constituents tell me that they have had severe problems getting through on the 101 number.”

On Wednesday morning, Mr McAteer told the Hawick News: “‘The report of a further increase in recorded crime with the equally alarming reduction in the solvency rate should be a source of great concern in our area.

“It is not good enough that such statistics, that include an 11 per cent reduction in solved crime over the
same period last year, are presented at a public forum
without any form of explanation.

“It is essential that Police Scotland attend those meetings to provide reassurance and some description of
the action being taken to
reverse this spiralling
trend.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ““We will endeavour to attend the area forum and provide reports on a regular basis.”