Area Committee scrutinises performance of local Police and Fire services
Today’s Skye, Ross and Cromarty Area Committee started with councillors having the opportunity to scrutinise and discuss progress reports from the Police and Fire services and to find out more details about the work underway to address local priorities.
Inspector John Beeston presented the Police Scotland Area Performance Summary and started by highlighting that the overall crime across the Highlands continues to fall while detection rates are increasing. The statistics show that in Highland there has been a reported reduction in Class 1-4 crimes of 20.2 with a 29% reduction in violent crime, a 28% reduction in sexual crimes and a 19% reduction in crimes of dishonesty.
The Inspector went on to highlight findings in the performance report under each of the following priorities – road safety; alcohol and drugs abuse/misuse; antisocial behaviour; crimes of dishonesty and protecting people. He also explained that significant work is currently on-going across Police Scotland for the i6 project to deliver common national policing processes across Scotland. This will allow for more detailed breakdown of statistics to give Councillors a clearer picture of issues in their own ward.
Phil Green, Group Manager with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service then gave a presentation of performance against a number of key areas of planned activity that was identified during consultation sessions within the Skye, Ross and Cromarty Wards. These include reducing accidental dwelling house fires and their associated fatalities and casualties; reducing the number of deliberate fires; reducing road traffic collisions and reducing the number of call outs to false alarms.
He then stressed that community and firefighting safety remains at the forefront of service delivery in Skye, Ross and Cromarty and highlighted number of activities a that have taken place to address their priorities. These included undertaking operational risk visits, taking part in multi-agency training exercises, putting in place community resilience initiatives and the management of resources.
Highland Council works closely with Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other partners across a range of initiatives to reduce crime, including pro-active work to tackle doorstep crime, reduce anti-social behaviour and hate crime, and raise awareness around alcohol and drug related issues.
Following both presentations members of the Committee has the opportunity to ask questions and raise points. Chair of the Committee, Councillor Hamish Fraser then thanked the representatives from the Police and Fire Services for presenting their reports and for giving updates of work they are undertaking to make communities safer.
He said: “The priorities of work for these organisations reflect the concerns and particular issues in our communities. The Council works closely with both the Police and Fire services so effective engagement, communication and local scrutiny is very important. The Committee looks forward to getting further progress reports throughout the year.”