Perth and Kinross- Community Safety

Key Facts

  • 94% of adults rate their neighbourhood as a very/fairly good place to live.
  • The percentage of adults who feel very/fairly safe when walking alone in their neighbourhood and in their home alone at night is above the average for Scotland.
  • The number of recorded crimes committed in Perth and Kinross has declined by 15% and is now at its lowest ever level.
  • The crime rate per 10,000 population, reconviction rates and the number of reconvictions per offender are all below the national average.
  • There are 109 Community Watch Schemes registered in Perth and Kinross.
  • There are 27 local community resilience groups across the area.
  •  Almost 80% of people aged 17+ have a driving licence

Crime

Police Scotland have set out their priorities for Perth and Kinross in their Local Policing Plan 2017- 2020. Locality policing in Perth and Kinross is designed to ensure local police work with local people, the community and other public and third sector services to ensure the most vulnerable are protected and to contribute towards building stronger communities.

Perth and Kinross has a co-located Community Safety Hub that builds upon on working with local people, partner agencies and third sector organisations. The Hub is designed to problem solve locally and works to prevent offending and reduce reoffending, to in time reduce the costs and demand for services, with the aim of protecting the people and places most at risk.

 

Fire and Rescue

There are 14 community fire stations located in Perth & Kinross. These stations provide prevention, protection and response services tailored to local needs. The Perth City Fire Station is the wholetime station, 10 Retained Duty System (RDS) and 3 Volunteer Duty System (VDS) stations. The Perth Station is crewed by full-time firefighters. In contrast, our Retained Duty System stations are crewed by part-time firefighters who primarily work in other occupations. They attend one routine training night per week and respond by pager, to provide 24/7 on call operational cover.  The Retained Duty System stations are supported by a Management Team and Community Action Team, who work alongside other Community Planning Partners to help plan, coordinate and deliver activities for improving the safety and wellbeing of our communities in Perth & Kinross.

In Perth and Kinross home fires account for 7% of the operational demand of our firefighters.  This however is the category of fire in which individuals are most likely to die or be injured and for that reason, improving fire safety in the home continues to be a priority for the Partnership. There are over 70,000 homes in Perth and Kinross and on average, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attend 118 fires in these each year. High severity house fires in Perth & Kinross continue to be few, representing around 4% of all house fires and the rate of fire fatalities and casualties in Perth & Kinross is below the Scottish average. This relatively low frequency and impact of fire in the home reflects the focus on prevention and protection work and has contributed to making Perth & Kinross one of the safest places to live.

Evidence indicates that it’s the most vulnerable individuals in our communities and those that are living in certain geographical areas of Perth & Kinross, who are at higher risk from fire in the home and experience poorer outcomes. The elderly account for almost half of all fire casualties; fires in the home tend to occur more frequently in the most deprived areas of Perth & Kinross, and the rural nature of Perth & Kinross gives rise to individuals living in social isolation who may be more vulnerable to fire. Furthermore, in Perth & Kinross there is a high percentage of migrant workers, who as a community have suffered the tragic consequences of fire. Individuals who are at higher risk from fire are, more often than not, known to other agencies such as health, social care or criminal justice. This highlights the absolute need to share knowledge and information between services about those most vulnerable in our Perth & Kinross communities and to work better together to reduce their risk from fire in the home. A home safety visit, where firefighters and partners, particularly Community Wardens, visit people in their homes to provide safety advice and fit free smoke alarms or other appropriate safety support solutions, will continue to be our main tool to improve unintentional harm in the home. But a smoke alarm cannot prevent a fire – it can only alert the occupant that a fire may have started. The best way of reducing the potential for fires to occur is to influence and change the behaviour of residents and we will continue to concentrate our efforts on how to improve their home safety awareness.

During 2016/17, there were 112 deliberate fires in Perth & Kinross. In 2011/12, crews dealt with 184 deliberate fires. This significant drop has brought us to a point where the rate of deliberate fires in Perth & Kinross is well below the Scottish average, the sixth lowest in Scotland. These fires have a serious economic impact, can cause injury, property damage and divert firefighters from attending more serious incidents. In Perth & Kinross, secondary fires (e.g. rubbish/bins and grass etc) make up around 71% of the deliberate fires attend by Fire and Rescue Teams, with the remainder involving occupied buildings, vehicles and outdoor structures such as sheds (Primary Fires). Evidence indicates that youths are the biggest perpetrators of deliberate secondary fires and more often than not, it’s the more deprived areas of Perth & Kinross that suffer the consequences.

The Local Fire and Rescue Plan for Perth and Kinross lays out our local priorities in terms of fires and other safety issues.

Unintentional Harm

The National Strategic Assessment of Unintentional Harm defines these types of incidents as “unintentional physical and psychological harm that could have been predicted and prevented”. Unintentional harm in Scotland is a large burden on the population in terms of death and injury, but is also a significant economic burden for public services. Annually, there are 1250-1400 deaths from unintentional harm in Scotland, and the costs to the NHS, and other services, in Scotland from physical unintentional harm alone amount to at least £200 million per year. Unintentional harm in the home (slip, trips and falls) has been identified as one of the most prominent issues and the associated risk profile closely matches those people that are most at risk from fire, in particular the elderly. So it makes sense that our work goes beyond making people safer from fire. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has positioned unintentional harm as a local priority, and work with our partners to make the most vulnerable people in Perth & Kinross safer from experiencing unintentional harm in the home, much of which is driven by social and economic inequality.

Community Resilience

Community Resilience is defined as“Communities and individuals harnessing resources and expertise to help themselves prepare for; respond to and recover from emergencies, in a way that complements the work of emergency responders.”.  The Community Resilience strategy provides a local framework within which members of Tayside Local Resilience Partnership (LRP) can identify, encourage and support individuals, businesses and communities who would benefit from developing arrangements to prepare for, and respond to, any emergency situation which affects them. There are 27 resilience groups in Perth and Kinross which strengthened our resilience to server weather and other emergencies.