Violent crime in North Ayrshire is down 3.6 per cent on the five-year average, it was revealed this week.

Serious assaults have reduced, with 33 crimes recorded at the end of the second quarter of 2022, compared with 45 last year and a five-year average of 44.4.

Detection rates have significantly improved and are currently up at 81.8 per cent compared to 62.2 per cent last year, the police fire and rescue committee of North Ayrshire Council heard.

Ten of these crimes have taken place within the home with three being domestic-related. Sixteen of the crimes have noted alcohol consumption as a potential factor. Six of the victims were female.

There have been no murders in the reporting period, however, there have been nine attempted murders, all of which have been detected.

Four involved weapons (three bladed weapons, one broken bottle), three involved attempting to set a house on fire (domestic victims within the property), one involved a vehicle driven at the victim and one involved choking the victim (domestic).

Minor assaults on members of the public are recording lower numbers, compared with last year and the five-year average.

Drug supply charges are currently down a fifth on the five-year average. There has been a reduction (29) in the number of charges being brought compared with both last year (50) and the five-year average (36.6).

Cannabis cultivations are at the same level as last year with 11 identified.

Proactivity remains the main focus and means by which these charges are obtained, however, identifying any real patterns to where these crimes are taking place is often difficult.

Identifying potential suppliers is more likely to be the result of combined work with local officers and divisional staff, building on the community intelligence provided by North Ayrshire residents, community groups or via Crimestoppers. 

Notably, 22 assaults on retail workers have been recorded by the end of the second quarter.

The current detection rate is 62 per cent which is above the figure last year (53.5 per cent) but slightly lower than the five-year average (62.7 per cent).

The assaults on retail workers are often committed during the commission of thefts and work is ongoing with a number of retailers to increase safety measures within their premises. Leaflets continue to be distributed highlighting the seriousness of offending against those in the retail sector.

Minor assaults on emergency workers are currently below the five-year average. 

Staff continue to proactively deploy to any repeat victims, offenders and locations to prevent escalations and this is reflected in the marked reduction in serious assaults. 

Deployment of specialist resources to investigate violent crimes continues to support the rise in the detection rate in the same period last year. 

The Community Wellbeing Unit (CWU) continue to work with identified offenders to deter them from future involvement in criminality. A number of successful action plans across North Ayrshire have been undertaken by officers and this has resulted in the recovery of bladed items, baseball bats, screwdrivers and scissors.

These action plans will continue moving towards the festive period. 

Officers continue to engage with licensed premises and during this reporting period there have been 493 inspections compared to only 65 reported incidents.

All common assault reports continue to be the subject of daily management review. Local officers continue to be supported in this review by Priority Policing Teams who are deployed to identify and quickly apprehend offenders

There continues to be proactive engagement with retailers in terms of safety advice.