Police tackle rise in drunken assaults

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Police in the Borders are stepping up visits to licensed premises as part of a concerted effort to cut the number of alcohol-fuelled assaults in the region.

Scottish Borders Council’s police, fire and rescue and safer communities board was told that from April to June 2016 the force received 206 reports of common assault, a 20% rise on the 173 assaults in the corresponding quarter of 2015.

Between April and June this year, police officers made 97 visits to pubs, compared to 447 over the same period in 2015.

“We have seen a rise in common assaults, and we will be stepping up our visits to licensed premises,” said Chief Inspector Andy McLean.

He revealed that from April to June this year, there had been 97 visits to pubs by police officers, compared to 447 over the same three months of last year.

“I don’t actually believe there is a widespread problem in our pubs,” he told the board. “Indeed, for the whole of the Borders, we only have one pub we know is problematic.

“There is a real mix of where and when these assaults take place. Some are happening in licensed premises and in the streets, but many take place in private residences, often when people are drinking at home and end up fighting.

“We are committed to reducing assaults.”

Earlier the board heard that the number of arrests for drug dealing in the region had more than tripled from April to June – from 5 in the corresponding period of 2015 to 17.

“There has been a lot of work done this year to tackle drug supply in the Borders,” said CI McLean.

“We get a lot of intelligence from members of the public and through Crimestoppers. It’s fair to say we have been going through a lot of doors lately.”