Last week I had the pleasure of presenting our East Lothian Police report for the first six months of the year to the scrutiny board.

The board is made up of elected representatives and gives them an opportunity to ask questions about the performance of the police over this period. I have detailed here some of the highlights:

There was a reduction in serious assaults with a 95.2 per cent solvency and a reduction in robberies with an 85.7 per cent solvency.

Group one (violent) crimes on the whole were up by nine crimes but those nine were due to the introduction of the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act, which came into force on April 1. This creates an offences of coercive and controlling behaviour and is a really positive step to tackle domestic abuse, which is so prevalent in our society.

Group two crimes (sexual) dropped by nine crimes, with rape and attempted rape down by four crimes.

There was a small reduction in recorded group three crimes (acquisitive), with break-ins to all properties, such as houses, sheds, business premises etc down by 27 crimes, which is really positive.

Reported anti-social behaviour (ASB) dropped by 56 crimes and I thank our partners in the East Lothian Council Safer Communities team for their continued collaboration to tackle all forms of ASB.

One area of concern which continues to rise is domestic abuse. Since I started here as local area commander, I have spent a great deal of time reviewing our processes, improving our training and working closely with partners from all sectors. This is to collectively provide the best support and advocacy to victims of domestic abuse and robustly deal with those who perpetrate gender-based violence.

Domestic abuse is the greatest single demand on operational policing, taking up at least 20 per cent of officers’ time. The abuse isn’t just physical – it can be verbal, sexual, psychological or financial abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship. The people in that relationship don’t need to be married or in a civil partnership, they can be co-habiting or they could even be ex-partners living apart.

Here in East Lothian, I believe domestic abuse is under-reported and have been raising awareness of it over the last few months.

This has culminated in all my officers across the county supporting the 16 Days of Action against Domestic Violence.

This campaign is aimed at businesses to support them to take action against domestic abuse and violence. Each day of the campaign, we have an activity or event planned and you will find most of these promoted on our social media channels. We have raised awareness with businesses, agencies and organisations and got them to ‘take the pledge’ and I urge you to support this campaign and also take the pledge as well at

The police would like to know what issues you think they should prioritise, nationally and in your local area, as well as the best methods for communicating with you.

A call has been put out to county residents to contribute to policing priorities for East Lothian by filling in a short survey here.