A Galloway and West Dumfries MSP says the SNP must do more to protect rural communities against rising crime following a three per cent increase over the last year.
The new figures from Police Scotland show that 6,098 crimes were recorded in 2017/18 in Dumfries and Galloway, up from 5,907 in 2016/17.
The rise works out at almost 17 crimes per day in the region, leading MSP Finlay Carson to call on the SNP Government to ensure that local officers have the resources to protect rural communities from criminal behaviour.
Included in the rise are 88 more sexual crimes, 98 more common assaults including those against emergency workers and 16 more serious assaults.
Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “The sharp rise in recorded crime across Dumfries and Galloway over the last year is extremely concerning.
“For too long the SNP Government have taken a soft approach to justice and our rural communities and citizens are sadly paying the price.
“Many very serious crimes are attributed to the rise and for almost 17 crimes per day to be occurring in Dumfries and Galloway shows the SNP must do more to ensure our rural police officers can prevent criminal behaviour.
“The last few years have seen far too many officers taken off our rural streets, as centralisation continues apace which leaves Dumfries and Galloway vulnerable.
“The public have the greatest respect for our police serving Dumfries and Galloway, but we cannot let that be undermined as a result of poor decision making in Edinburgh by the SNP.
“I hope that the 3 per cent rise in crime in Dumfries and Galloway will act as a wake up call to the SNP Government to ensure that our rural communities are protected.”
Police Scotland said: “The rural communities of Scotland are safe places in which to live and work. However, the nature of the environment and way of life means there are some crime prevention tips particularly relevant to rural life that are worth bearing in mind.”
The force has a dedicated website which details helpful tips on how to stay safe at: http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/home-and-personal-property/rural-crime