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Highlands and Islands vote of confidence in policing and criminal justice services

1st March 2013

The results of the 2012 Northern Constabulary community consultation survey aimed at gauging the publicís perception of multi agency services in the area, reveals an overwhelming affirmation of public satisfaction in police and criminal justice partners in the Highlands and Islands.

89% of respondents reported that they are satisfied and very satisfied with the service provided by Northern Constabulary and 97% of respondents stated that they feel safe within the areas they live. Furthermore, the survey indicated that public continue to want a localised approach to services, facilities and information.

Led by Northern Constabulary and supported by the Scottish Court Service, and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the collaboration provided a further opportunity to listen to the members of the public and shape future services and priorities. The survey has already provided information to inform the development of the new Highlands and Islands Division Local and Ward Policing Plans as well as Local Authority Single Outcome Agreements.

The top three community concerns continue to be road safety, alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour. Respondents indicated that partnerís priorities should be promoting road safety, tackling the supply of illegal drugs and crime prevention. These are all issues which are a already high priorities for the Force and what was pleasing to note was a decrease in the level of concern expressed by respondents in reference to alcohol abuse, antisocial behaviour and serious and organised crime -including illegal drugs.

Northern Constabulary and its partners would like to thank all those who completed the survey. The survey reports will shortly published on the Northern Constabularyís website.

Chief Constable George Graham welcomed the response to the community consultation. He said: "As we move forward into the Police Service of Scotland at the beginning of April, we and our partners, want to influence the focus for policing priorities in this area and the support we have received through the response to the consultation will allow us to continue to make this area one of the safest in the UK to live, work and visit.

"As Northern Constabulary draws to a close we are leaving the people of the Highlands and Islands in a great position with low levels of crime and high detection rates.

"I am sure with the publicís continued support for our officers in the Highlands and Islands then we will continue to deliver those levels of success.Ē

Procurator Fiscal for the North, Andrew Laing commented: "Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal service is keen to hear from the people that we serve to ensure that we can respond appropriately to local concerns and priorities. I note that those responding have indicated that the authorities should prioritise road safety and tackling the supply of illegal drugs.

"We continue to seek to promote road safety by taking action in relation to a host of road traffic offences including dangerous driving, drunk driving, driving without insurance and speeding offences. Whilst some cases can take some time to get through the court process the majority are dealt with very quickly and the prosecution process in Highland and Islands is the fastest in Scotland with the average interval between a person being charged by the police and being convicted in our courts standing at just 100 days.

"Prosecutors work with police to bring those who deal drugs in our communities to justice and we continue to secure convictions and custodial sentences against those who peddle in misery. "

OVER 10,000 households across the Highlands and Islands were surveyed with a 29% response which is extremely high for a public consultation survey.