POLICE NUMBERS IN MORAY are at their highest level in years – and that is being reflected in a higher rate of crime detection.
That was one of the main headlines from the latest report to Moray Councillors from local area commander Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson on Thursday.
Last year there were serious concerns over a fall in police numbers in the region, prompting one officer to highlight the ‘dangerous’ nature of the issue at a community council meeting. According to the report yesterday, however, those fears have been taken seriously with major increases in force strength.
Between December and July the north-east division recruited 118 new officers – 14 of whom were attached to Moray with three more expected this month. There will also be an additional five probationary officers attached to Moray police stations next month.
The Chief Superintendent said: “Officer numbers within the North East are also at their highest level for some time, with a significant number of new recruits due to start work in Moray next month and many already started.
“This places the Division on its strongest footing for many years with this level projected to continue for the remainder of the year.”
Highlighting increased crime detection figures in particular against drugs crimes, Mr Thomson added: “These latest figures continue to reflect the positive Police work that is happening in Moray and I would once again like to thank local Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie for his commitment to ensuring the area is as safe as it can possibly be along with his team of officers and police staff.
“Later this month Chief Inspector Mackie will leave Moray and transfer to Police Scotland’s Operational Support Division, overseeing Road Policing Operations for the North of Scotland.
“Taking his place will be Chief Inspector Maggie Miller who joins us from Highland and Islands Division where she has built up a wealth of experience in a number of Operational and CID roles. She is extremely well placed to build on the already positive work ongoing in Moray.”
Councillor welcomed and approved the new police plan for the next three years, with Chief Superintendent Thomson commenting: “I am very pleased to be launching our new policing plan for Moray today following approval by the board.
“It highlights where our local officers will build on the strong performance from previous years, tackling the local issues that our communities tell us matter to them.
“The Local Policing Plan can only be delivered through working hand-in-hand with our partners and the continued support of the communities we operate within. By working together we can continue to make a real difference.”
Police, Fire and Rescue Services committee chairman, Councillor Walter Wilson, said: “We very much welcome this new plan which sets out clear priorities for policing Moray over the next three years. The area is an extremely safe place to live, work in and visit and this will help us continue to work closely with our police colleagues to ensure it remains that way.
“Strong links with local officers already exist within our communities and we look forward to continuing this joint working and achieving further reductions in crime.”
Police also confirmed yesterday that two males aged 47 and 15 had been charged in relation to alleged thefts in the Forres area. The thefts happened at Waterford Road, Forres and Seapark Road, Kinloss, between August 19 and 20.