Crime report a grim read

SHOCKING figures released last week show the disturbing levels of crime and violence which blight communities in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.

From September to November last year, in both Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, there were four attempted murders, seven robberies, 26 serious assaults, 172 assaults, nearly 400 thefts and just less than 300 acts of vandalism.

All of the attempted murders occurred in Kilsyth. But acting chief inspector Stevie Hazlett believes the context of the incidents must be taken into account.

He said: “This year, in Kilsyth, there have been two incidents which have resulted in injuries so serious that charges of attempt murder have been libelled.

“On both these occasions there have been two victims which has resulted in the statistic presented to the LAP of there having been four attempt murders. “

He added: “It would be alarming if this was a regular occurrence but, outwith this three-month period, there have been no other crimes of attempt murder in the area.”

In Kilsyth there were, along with the attempted murders, two serious assaults, 27 assaults, 61 acts of vandalism and 52 thefts.

Three of the attempted murders were committed by 16-year-old males. Catherine Martin, chairperson of Kilsyth and Villages Community Forum, found the statistics hard to believe. She said: “I’ve been speaking to people, trying to get them to translate them for me, thinking I can’t be reading those numbers right. But everyone I’ve spoken to has said that’s correct. They are absolutely horrendous.

“I think we should be concerned that Kilsyth is worse than Cumbernauld with four attempted murders and Cumbernauld is supposed to have a gang problem.

“If this stems from youth disorder then why are we not looking at doing something to address it? There are increasingly worrying figures coming through with regards to unemployment and education, there’s very little for young people at the moment. Things like this should be ringing someone’s alarm bell.”

The statistics, contained within the Joint Community Safety Report, were presented to the meeting of the North Local Area Partnership.