Night time operations for Community Action Team in tackling thefts

Published: 20th April 2023

Black and white image showing words news against background of newspaper

Over the past month the Scottish Borders Community Action Team has continued to see positive results from engagement activity with young people in Galashiels following antisocial behaviour issues.

This work, combined with an additional focus in key locations, has seen a significant reduction in reports of issues in the community. The team are also targeting antisocial behaviour issues in Innerleithen, Peebles and Hawick.

Other local issues tackled

The Community Action Team (CAT), a policing resource of two teams of seven officers funded by ourselves, executed six Misuse of Drugs warrants across the region in March, with three resulting in seizures and has also been cracking down on acquisitive crime.

This included participating in Operation Checkpoint over two nights in mid-March, which saw nine forces across both sides of the border carry out static and mobile patrols to deter and detect acquisitive crime.

At the recent monthly meeting of the CAT Oversight Group, which is made up of cross party Councillors, Council officers and the Police Scotland’s CAT sergeant, it was agreed to continue to focus attention on speeding near schools and known collision sites over the next month.

Councillor Julie Pirone, chair of the CAT Oversight Group

“The co-ordinated efforts of the Community Action Team alongside other Police Scotland resources and neighbouring forces is critical to tackling the scourge of acquisitive crime in the Scottish Borders, which particularly affects our rural businesses and communities.

“The team also remain focused on other key issues for our residents, including tackling antisocial behaviour, drug misuse and speeding.”

To report a crime call 999 in an emergency. Use 101 or the Police Scotland website for non-emergency issues. To anonymously report suspicious activity or crimes call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Hoax calls

In recent months there has been a noticeable increase in hoax calls being made to Police Scotland, particularly by young people using public call boxes. All of these calls are recorded and can be traced, even if the call is made from a withheld number or public phone box.

Misuse of the 999 system and hoax calls is a criminal offence which could result in a maximum penalty of up to six months in prison or a £5,000 fine.

Councillor Pirone

“I want to make it clear to those carrying out hoax calls, it is no laughing matter. Misusing the 999 system and dialling it for non-emergency matters can cost lives by slowing down Police Scotland’s or other emergency services’ response to genuine emergencies, preventing those in real need getting assistance. Imagine your family member was waiting for emergency help and you’ve delayed that.”