Police stop and search policy is getting results in Berwickshire

Almost one in four people stopped and searched by police officers in east Berwickshire over the past three months were found to have drugs on them.

The high levels of police stop and searches in the region have recently been questioned by local MSP John Lamont but giving a run down of policing in Berwickshire over the past three months at last week’s Berwickshire Area Forum, Inspector Keith Dougal indicated that the results they were getting suggested their targeting was producing results.

“In East Berwickshire officers carried out 69 stop and searches for drugs and 18-25% of those searched had drugs on them. That’s almost one in four of people we stop we are getting drugs off them,” said Inspector Dougal.

Rural thefts across the region are causing concern, and the incident at Cairncross near Eyemouth last week where thieves, unable to get the farm vehicles they had gone there to steal, set fire to the building, took rural theft incidents to a new level of violence.

As well as that incident a tractor was stolen from a farm near Coldstream in the same week and Inspector Dougal told those at the Area Forum that CID officers are taking over the investigation of rural thefts which are increasingly the work of organised professional gangs.

Over the last three months Berwickshire has seen a 23% reduction in reported crimes compared with the same period the year before.

In Mid Berwickshire over the past three months there have been 94 reported crimes (down from 132 in the same period last year). In East Berwickshire 134 crimes were reported over the past three months (down from 164 in the same period last year).

Reported crime in Coldstream has almost halved since last year, in Eyemouth it is exactly the same and Duns has seen a slight increase.

In East Berwickshire, police priorities have been speeding vehicles, drugs, youth anti-social behaviour and thefts.

In the past three months community officers and transport officers have issued 62 tickets to drivers for driving over the speed limit (the figure for the previous three months was 54); 12 anti-social behaviour tickets have been issued; and 14 premises are being observed by the anti-social behaviour unit.