POLICE HAVE PLEDGED to stamp down on instances of violent crime in Moray and throughout the north east following depressing figures published this week.
New figures have shown that attacks have increased by 10% since April when compared to the same period last year – with a corresponding 52% increase in those that have resulted in serious injury.
The statistics from April to June indicated that most of the attacks took place in May, a period where there were two bank holidays. Now police say that they will be conducting more patrols as well as continuing their recently launched drive against such crimes, Operation Pine.
Chief Inspector Murray Main said: “There has been an increase in violence across the north east and we are now taking action to address this. My message is quite clear – in the space of just a few seconds and just one punch, you could risk losing your freedom.
“These incidents not only impact on the victim and their friends, family and witnesses – but on the perpetrator, their friends and their family.
“We will do everything we can to ensure those responsible face the full consequences of their actions.”
However, the Chief Inspector pointed out that despite the increase, the north east remained one of the safest places in Scotland in which to live.
One of the largest causes of violent crime, he added, was alcohol consumption: “It is no secret that excessive alcohol consumption is the biggest contributor to violence-related crime. It will also come as no surprise to hear that the majority of offences happen late on a Saturday or early on a Sunday.
“Alcohol itself does not make people violent – but it lowers inhibitions and increases risk-taking behaviour.”
Agreeing that a clampdown on such crimes is required, John Thomson, NHS Grampian’s Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine said: “The Emergency Department continues to deal with a significant number of victims of assaults and other acts of violence on a daily basis.
“Injuries sustained after a violent incident can range from being relatively minor – cuts and bruising – to severe, life-changing for the victim and their family and, unfortunately, sometimes resulting in death.
“We fully support Police Scotland in this endeavour to reduce the number of assault and violent crime.”