The newly appointed Tayside Police Commander of Angus has called on the community’s help in dealing with vandalism across the burgh.
Chief Superintendent Kevin Lynch is concerned by a significant increase in vandalism to people’s property during July and August in comparison to the same time last year. Some areas have experienced slight decreases, but large rises have been witnessed in Arbroath, Carnoustie and Monifieth.
There has been a 19% increase in vandalism across Angus for the two months July/August, when comparing 2011 to 2010 – that’s up from 199 crimes to 237, which represents 38 more victims of vandalism.
Chief Superintendent Lynch said: “The amount of vandalism being experienced in local communities in some of our towns is simply unacceptable. This kind of behaviour is hard for people to bear in any circumstances, but particularly when people have to endure what are challenging economic times.
“It is of great concern to me and these vandals need to realise that it is local people who are directly suffering as a result of their behaviour.
“Vandalism is a mindless act. It causes heart break within our communities and affects us all collectively whether we work, live or visit Angus.
“It is impossible to understand why anyone could mindlessly break a window, kick off a wing mirror, or walk on the bonnet of a car.
“It causes deep upset to owners and bewilderment to many.
“Vandalism to people’s property strikes at the heart of our communities, harms people’s sense of community safety and impacts upon the appearance of our towns and villages, not just for residents but also in respect of visitors to the area.
“I call on the residents of Angus to adopt a partnership approach with me and my officers in reducing this type of crime to try and ensure that our communities are both safe and vibrant for us all. As an equal partner, I pledge that my officers will carry out high visibility foot patrols in our towns.
“They will engage with residents, young people hanging about and will seek to provide a heightened sense of reassurance and community engagement.
“We will continue to carry out Dry Up patrols and be seen in and around licensed premises at the relevant times.
“Our CCTV staff will also seek to maximise opportunities in terms of intelligence gathering and crime detection.”
“Where offences are reported to officers, they will carry out appropriate enquiries and when offenders are identified they will be robustly dealt with.
“Tayside Police will also seek the assistance of its partners wherever necessary.
“Where people witness incidents of vandalism or have suspicions or information that could be of interest to the police they should report them immediately.
“No one should tolerate this type of reckless, mindless behaviour.”
Chief Superintendent Lynch said: “I want Angus residents to take a stand with us. Please engage with local officers and provide them with any information about such criminality.
“It is time that we, and I mean all of us in Angus, seek to change the mind set of people.
“By doing so, those who seem intent on carrying out acts of vandalism will feel the full force of the legal system, but more importantly they will soon come to understand that their behaviour is totally unacceptable.
“By working jointly, police, partner agencies and, most importantly, the communities see a drop in crimes of vandalism and other acts of anti-social behaviour in our towns. That has to be of benefit to us all.
“I’m very proud to have been appointed as Divisional Commander for Eastern Division as Angus is a safe place in which to live and work and Tayside Police enjoys strong relationships with community partners and the public.
“I am seeking to increase police visibility in our communities and for our officers to not only be seen, but to actively engage with all members of the public.
“I would encourage people to approach our officers and speak with them. If you have any issues, concerns or information about where you live, let them know.”