On the beat with PC Colin Reid

It’s been a very busy three months since my last ‘On the Beat’ during which I have been to the High Court in Glasgow and given evidence in the highest Criminal Court in the country for the first time in my 24 years of Police service.

I have to admit that I was nervous beforehand but the nerves very quickly disappeared once I got into the witness box.

I was given two complaints against Grampian Police to resolve and attended a one-day Emergency Response Driver Training course. These duties were a welcome distraction to the normal custody supervision duties.

I have written about a variety of subjects in my On The Beat articles, and this time I would like to have a look at the more serious incidents reported to Grampian Police across Aberdeenshire. A more serious incident is defined as ‘one in which the circumstances deem it necessary that it be notified to the area Inspectors and Chief Inspectors.’

These incidents are discussed every weekday morning along with the action taken and the indentified outstanding enquiries or tasks.

During February this year, the Fraserburgh area hardly featured in any of the 137 more serious incidents. Throughout March there were 165 similar incidents, of which only nine related to the Fraserburgh area. Three of these nine were:

Between 11pm on Saturday, March 12, and 2pm on Tuesday, March 15, three houses were entered overnight via insecure front or back doors and property stolen from within.

The houses were in Broomhill, Philorth Avenue and Mid Street. The items stolen included wallets, purses and small electrical items.

I have spoken about household security in a previous article and all three householders made it easy for the sneak-in thief or thieves by failing to check that their doors and windows were secure before retiring to their beds for the night.

I suspect their household contents insurance policies may opt not to pay out on any claim. The bank cards stolen from these properties were used at a town centre shop. The two males in possession of the cards are described as follows:

Male 1 - mid 20s, 5’7” tall, wearing dark blue tracksuit bottoms with one leg rolled up, light tracksuit top, a cream beenie hat with a grey baseball cap over the top

Male 2 - mid 20s, 5’ 9” tall, wearing a black jacket, beenie hat and dark trousers, possibly jeans.

Enquiries are continuing to identify these two males.

About 8pm on March 15 an 18 year-old female was approached by a male as she walked near to the college on Henderson Road and threatened to hand over any money she had on her person.

She said she did not have any money at which the male grabbed her and searched through her jacket pockets before running off.

The woman was thankfully uninjured but badly shaken as a result of this incident. To date this male remains untraced and is described as being in his early 20’s, 5’ 9” tall, thin build, brown hair, unshaven wearing a white baseball cap, dark coloured Nike tracksuit and white trainers. He spoke with a Glasgow accent.

On March 23 a disturbance was reported in a lane off Fernie Place, Fraserburgh. It was reported that persons involved were in possession of metal poles. Several people were traced nearby on Police arrival in addition to one injured male.

As a result of Police enquiries a 40 year-old Fraserburgh male is to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal at Peterhead for various offences in relation to this incident.

Although these incidents are more serious, they are thankfully much less frequent and given how few of them there are each month, I would suggest that Fraserburgh and its surrounding area is a low risk area, which is a considerable turn around from ten years ago when I worked here as a Divisional Sergeant.

Now for my normal round up of what the officers dealt with during February and March here in Fraserburgh.

Over the two months, our Local Policing Team Officers dealt with 313 reported incidents, of which 17 were found to not be a criminal matter.

The detection rate for the period was up 4 points on the preceeding two months at 42%. Breaking down the figures we see that the variation in totals continue. The figures in the brackets indicate an increase or decrease on the previous two months.

There were 43 vandalisms (down 21), 27 assaults (down 21), 31 breaches of the peace (up 21), eight thefts by shoplifting (down five), four careless driving (down four), one drink driver (down five), two possession of drugs (down five) and nine theft by housebreakings (up two).

Although Fraserburgh had only one drink driver, all suspected drink drivers from Banff, Turriff, Mintlaw, Peterhead and Cruden Bay are taken through to the Custody Suite at Fraserburgh for processing.

On average a driver was processed every two days during February and March, and four of the drivers were found to be driving with a blood alcohol level three times over the legal limit.

Given the publicity the problem of drink driving receives over a year, this is quite a shocking number of positive roadside breath tests, as anyone who drives after drinking alcohol puts other road users and themselves at increased risk of being involved in a road traffic collision.

Earlier I highlighted two incidents which we are still trying to establish the identity of the culprits.

If you can assist us in any way with this please contact Grampian Police by telephone on 0845 6005700, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, call in person at your local Police Office or contact me direct by e-mail at colin.reid@grampian.pnn.police.uk.