Proportionate response to crime piloted in the North East

Police Scotland is testing a different approach to the way certain incidents are managed in the North East when they are reported to Police Scotland.

At the moment the public may have to wait some time to hear whether their report of a crime or incident is being investigated, but under our new approach we aim to inform people of the decision more quickly.

This is a system which worked to good effect previously in Grampian and it is hoped the pilot will achieve similar positive results. Police officers are to be given more time to focus on proportionate lines of enquiry, responding to emergencies and keeping people safe from harm.

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On some occasions, crimes are reported where there is no associated threat, risk, harm or vulnerability and also no proportionate lines of enquiry for local police officers to investigate.

​The new system is about getting people the right help when Police are contacted.​The new system is about getting people the right help when Police are contacted.
​The new system is about getting people the right help when Police are contacted.

When this happens, staff will inform the caller that the enquiry has been recorded and a crime reference number will be supplied but no further action will be taken.

If any risk, harm or vulnerability is identified, Police Scotland will take the appropriate measures to ensure safety and wellbeing.

At the moment, it may take some time for police officers to view a report just to confirm that no further action will be taken. The new process means callers get an answer more quickly and police officers are able to focus on the more pressing issues in our communities.

An example could be a theft from a garden, if there are no proportionate lines of enquiry such as CCTV or eye witness evidence, then we may inform the caller that the report will be filed and no further action taken.

Divisional Commander, Ch Supt Graeme Mackie said: “The pilot process will enable local police officers to focus on those crimes that have proportionate lines of enquiry and potentially enable them to give more time to local concerns and priorities in the area. We also know that sometimes people simply want to report a crime and we want to provide that service efficiently.

“Please continue to report crime in your area. Local officers will continue to review closed reports to enable them to map local crime trends and this may mean an enquiry is re-opened and investigated.”

Taking a proportionate approach to crime means we can continue to deliver a high standard of service while responding to growing and increasingly complex individual and community needs, within a tightening financial environment.

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Police Scotland recently outlined the urgent action required to maintain effective policing for its communities following the real terms reduction in our funding allocation for 2023-24.

Hard choices are being made to deliver effective policing within the funding available. Action is also being taken to achieve savings, with areas which encounter the greatest demand and carry the greatest risk in keeping people safe being prioritised for resources. But ultimately this is about getting people the right help when Police are contacted and will enable them to spend more time tackling crime, responding to local concerns and keeping people safe.