Bute police commander ‘confident’ crime will go on falling

Chief Inspector Gary Stitt is Strathclyde Police's area commander for Bute, Cowal, Helensburgh and Lomond.

Chief Inspector Gary Stitt is Strathclyde Police's area commander for Bute, Cowal, Helensburgh and Lomond.

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The area police commander in charge of Bute says he is confident that encouraging crime statistics for the island will continue to improve in future.

Chief Inspector Gary Stitt was speaking to The Buteman ahead of the change to a new single police authority covering the whole of Scotland at the end of this month.

Mr Stitt said that in several key areas crime figures for the island were lower than in the past.

“On Bute in the last three months,” he said, “violent crime is 66 per cent lower than the average for the same period over the last five years.

“Minor assaults are 13 per cent lower, drunk and disorderly behaviour is 16 per cent lower, and drug crime detections are 39 per cent above the five-year average.

“There has also been a 20 per cent reduction in speeding offences, so we can see the public is reacting to what we are doing.

“From a divisional perspective, the message is that crime is down, the number of incidents attended by police is down, and detection rates are up.

“We’re hitting the vast majority of our targets for the multi-member wards in the area, including the Isle of Bute ward, and I’m confident that will continue to improve.”

Mr Stitt, whose area of authority covers Bute, Cowal, Helensburgh and Lomond, also highlighted responses to the last public survey carried out by police on the island, showing that 93.3 per cent of respondents did not have a fear of crime in the local neighbourhood and 92 per cent would feel safe walking alone after dark.

“That’s what the work we are doing is resulting in,” he said. “I would like it to be a hundred per cent, but that’s probably an impossible target.”

* More from our exclusive interview with Gary Stitt in the new issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, March 14.