No crime increase as a result of Total, says police chief

Shetland’s top police officer says there appears to be a misperception among sections of the public that the influx of construction workers to build the Total gas plant has caused an upsurge in crime.

Chief inspector Angus MacInnes said he had found the companies working up at Sullom Voe to be “very aware and conscious of their reputation” and “nothing but help­ful” in their dealings with police.

Sheriff Philip Mann recently bemoaned the level of drunken “thug­gery” taking place in Lerwick at weekends and said it may only be a matter of time before a drink-fuelled incident had “tragic con­sequences”.

Mr MacInnes said it was possible people were wrongly equating the arrival of hundreds of workers with a spate of violent crime which took place last summer. The amount of assaults has subsequently tailed off.

“The people fighting in the street, the majority are people who are local to Shetland,” he said. “People breaking the law when they are driving tends to be people who are local to Shetland.”

Mr MacInnes told The Shetland Times he had not detected much change in the level of crime in Brae either. In the month of December, for instance, police took 29 calls in the area but recorded no crimes.

Lerwick Community Council chairman Jim Anderson referred during its Monday meeting to a story doing the rounds that 28 people had been sent home by employers last week following an incident at the Mid Brae Inn.

Mr MacInness said that, while the companies “certainly did move them on very quickly”, he understood the number of people involved in that particular incident was in single figures.

With floating hotels being brought in to accommodate more workers, Mr MacInness was asked if he was worried about the potential impact on crime in the town. He said there was a joint security group which met regularly with con­struction companies, who also have their own security.

“It doesn’t cause me any great concern,” he said. “If there are any issues we’ll make sure they’re dealt with.”


Add Your Comment
  • Jonathon Sandison

    • March 8th, 2013 15:10

    It is amazing how parochialism and prejudice breeds ignorance.

  • george williamson

    • March 12th, 2013 16:02

    really no increase in crime and talking about a fight in the mid brae involving the very people who commit no crime?


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.