Wigtownshire police report - January

THE number of hit and run cases in Wigtownshire is on the rise, probably because of the economic climate, says Inspector.

This was told by Inspector David McCallum on Wednesday at a meeting of Wigtown Area Committee where he said there had been a large number of cases spotted on CCTV but not reported to the police showing drivers hit property, get out their car to check the damage, then drive off.

He said: “This is presumably down to the economic climate, no one has money to pay for damage so think they can just get away with it.

“However, we will be coming down hard on these people and will be referring them to court to show that we won’t stand for it. It’s often damage to personal property and this needs to be paid for. It’s us as drivers who ultimately end up paying through higher insurance.”

ONE speeder is being caught in Cairnryan every 34 minutes, according to figures calculated between last July and December.

But following a police clampdown with the opening of new ferry terminal in the village, it is not thought the figures are much higher than last year - despite fears of a rapid increase due to an influx of vehicles using the port.

Inspector David McCallum told Wigtown Area Committee on Wednesday that officers caught just five speeders in the village in November, when the port opened, and eight in December.

He said: “We’re not being complacent though, as we acknowledge that some of these speeds were particularly high.”

POLICE are warning of a rise in use of benzodiazepines, also known as benzo or BZD, a newer type of drug which can cause violent outbursts.

The drugs are available online as they are legal in some Asian countries where the sender can therefore shirk all responsibility once they have posted the package.

Inspector David McCallum said this week that the force is working alongside customs officers and Royal Mail to intercept delivery of the drugs.

He said: “We’ve seen a massive increase in the use of these drugs. There is often less liquor taken and more benzodiazepines then becoming violent.”

He added that officers are conducting a survey in the custody suite to determine the impact the drugs are having on the area.

He also said that the force is keen to ensure these drugs don’t become the ‘new heroin’, though he added that so far its use amongst youngsters has been limited.

The drugs are used legally for treating anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal and as a premedication for medical or dental procedures but can give euphoric and hypnotic effects.

LESS than 10 police officers from Dumfries and Galloway will head to London to help out with this year’s Olympics.

Around six or seven are expected to go and Inspector David McCallum said that the force is “very aware of its national responsibilities”, and has a presence during the London riots too.

He said: “This number could go up or down depending on the level of risk at the time, but their absence will have little effect on the force locally.

“This will give the officers the opportunity to be part of something they wouldn’t otherwise have and they’ll get an insight into situations they wouldn’t normally experience in this low-crime area.”