The influx of oil workers has not led to an increase in violent crime, says chief inspector Angus MacInnes – despite tales that Brae is like the Wild West.
“When you talk to people in the street” he said, “sometimes you get the impression that Brae is like the Wild West. But when you go there you don’t see it. The cops don’t see it when they walk in to the pubs. I’ve done a few pub checks myself and I don’t see it.”
The increased number of workers at Sullom Voe and the Total gas plant site has led to anecdotal tales of rampant criminal activity in the area, but Mr McInnes said that those stories are not backed up by the statistics.
“We’re not seeing a big spike in crime up there … So how do we either dispel that myth and show people that stuff’s not going on, or, if it is going on, what do we have to do to get the public to come and tell us.”
Rather than an increase, Mr McInness said, violent crime had actually fallen throughout the isles over the past year. And February 2013 was in fact “the least violent month in Shetland” since January 2010.
Brae last month, for instance, had only seven crimes, none of which were for violence and only two were for breach of the peace. In comparison, Dunrossness saw five crimes in the same period, and two of these were for breach of the peace.
The only assaults last month – six in total – were in Lerwick.
Mr McInnes urged people who were aware of any crimes to report them to the police. “If you tell us” he said, “77 out of 100 times we’ll be able to detect that crime”.
“If we’re missing something, we want people to tell us.”