Police chief blames ‘incomers’ for serious crime 

Police have blamed “incomers” for the vast majority of serious crime in Shetland.

Chief inspector Stuart Clemenson said “some alarming incidents” had been reported across the isles.

However, in a report to Lerwick Community Council last night (Monday), Mr Clemenson reassured members that most did not involve people who had been “born and bred here”.

“A lot of these crimes are coming from the incomers,” he said. “The contractors coming into Sullom Voe, the workers building the windfarm.”

Mr Clemenson, who started as Shetland area commander in January, said that while visiting contractors brought economic benefits– they also brought a “lot of trouble” from a police perspective.

“We are on top of all that,” he said.

Mr Clemenson also highlighted figures showing Shetland’s crime detection rate was the highest out of every Police Scotland division, at 87 per cent.

He praised the public for its support in achieving such a high figure.


Add Your Comment
  • Jane Cooper

    • April 12th, 2022 7:44

    Writing from Orkney, so I qualify my comment by saying I recognise that “incomer” MAY have a different meaning in Shetland, although that’s not been my experience. If not though, then I think this statement from Chief inspector Stuart Clemenson is unhelpful at best and discriminatory at worst.
    It is one thing to identify that visiting contractors “brought a “lot of trouble” from a police perspective.” It is quite another to state as quoted, “A lot of these crimes are coming from the incomers.”
    I am pleased and proud to have a number of friends in Shetland, both native Shetlanders and incomers who have chosen to make their home and life in Shetland, many having lived in Shetland for decades. Is it accurate to accuse such people as being part of the “vast majority of serious crime in Shetland.”?

    • Nigel Wiseman

      • April 12th, 2022 12:40

      What the head of police is saying is correct, there is to many incomers coming here, causing trouble, especially violence…this goes back to gas plant workers and now the windfarms….most trouble especially violence has been caused by incomers, even this last Saturday night….yes its a minority, but it is happening far to often, and when these people are charged and convicted should be banned from ever returning to Shetland…I’m nearly 50, and have no problem with folk coming here to settle with there families, but most of the trouble are caused by workers who work here on shifts, a few weeks here and a few weeks at there homes…these minority violent thugs, should lose there jobs and rights to work and live her…maybe they should be vetted better for criminal records….this constant violence and trouble should be met with harsher punishment, and as a proud shetlander, South companies should have a good look at who they employ, thus should not be happening, especially on a regular basis….charge, convict and ban, this is the only solution and it would deter trouble…

    • Richard Douthwaite

      • April 13th, 2022 11:16

      As a law abiding “incomer” to Shetland some ten years ago. I agree.

      This is seriously decisive language from a senior police official, particularly the use of the term ” born and bred” as if to imply that place of birth has any bearing on criminality.

      I hope Mr Clemenson clarifies his statement and chooses his words more carefully in future.

  • Stuart Hannay

    • April 12th, 2022 8:13

    As an incomer, I admit I would like to commit more crime but have very little time due to work, family and community commitments.

  • Tony Erwood.

    • April 12th, 2022 18:02

    Well I wasn’t born and bred here and was an incomer 20 years ago, so I had better be on my best behaviour.

  • Carlton Boyce

    • April 13th, 2022 11:39

    As a trained criminologist and former police officer and prison governor, I’m hoping that chief inspector Clemenson’s comments have been taken out of context; as reported, they seem to be unusually indiscreet and potentially divisive, hardly something one would expect from someone of his rank…

    Among the many questions the article raises, we need to understand how he defines ‘incomer’ and what the police consider a ‘serious crime’ before we can establish whether he’s reporting facts or relaying anecdotes – and as any first-year social sciences student will tell you, anecdotes are not facts, and correlation is not necessarily causation.

    Of course, he may be completely right but it’s impossible to tell with the facts as they’ve been reported. Perhaps a follow-up interview might help clarify things?

  • Stuart Crichton

    • May 12th, 2022 14:15

    Chief Inspector Clemenson?, is he not an incomer??


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