ALMOST 30,000 crimes would have gone unpunished if a police plan had been in place three years ago.
We reported last week that Scottish police officers will stop actively prosecuting “minor” crimes in the North East if they do not have CCTV or witnesses.
But we can reveal that this may have led to officers dropping their investigations into 27,000 thefts, burglaries, vandalism and other petty crimes.
Police chiefs say declining police numbers mean they lack resources to investigate incidents where the likelihood of an arrest is low.
Records show 27,581 less serious crimes were reported between 2020-21 and 2022-23 in the North East Division, where a three-month pilot project is planned.
This includes more than 10,000 calls about vandalism or malicious mischief and 6,000 common thefts in the region, which includes Aberdeen and Moray.
There were 346 reports of thefts at a Lockfast store opening, with 601 non-residential properties hit by robbers and 7,513 shopliftings reported.
Anti-social behavior was reported 83,268 times and there were more than 1,000 incidents of drivers ignoring road signs and markings.
Russell Borthwick, chief executive of the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Local police saying they may no longer investigate certain crimes sets a worrying precedent.”
“Companies pay record taxes and in return expect compliance with the law.”
Russell Findlay, Scottish Tory justice spokesman, added: “People will be concerned that this pilot will become the norm as a result of the SNP cutting police budgets – to the delight of criminals.”
The Proportionate Response To Crime pilot follows a fall in the number of officers by more than 600 in two years to 16,600.
A police spokesman said: “When a crime or incident is reported it is assessed for threat, harm, risk and danger.
“As part of the pilot, we can tell a caller that they may not hear anything else.”
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