The chief inspector of Western Isles police has ended the year with a message of thanks for support offered to officers in the course of their work.
And Chief Inspector Jane Mackenzie also gave an update on how policing has worked across the islands during 2022.
She said: “As we come to the end of 2022, I would like to provide an update on policing across the Western Isles over the past 12 months and thank officers, staff, the public and our partners for their continued support in helping keep our communities safe.
“During 2022, we have seen the volume of calls we receive and crimes committed return to pre-Covid levels.
“I’m aware that anti-social behaviour has been a concern for members of the public in the Western Isles over the past year. We continue to work closely with partners in relation to this and, thankfully, we have seen reductions in youth offending.
“We have also had support from officers in specialist units including road policing, the search team, public order officers, the dog section and the flexible policing team.
“Divisional officers from other area commands have also supported us in response to incidents and events, providing additional staffing when required.
“Disappointingly, Stornoway officers suffer one of the highest numbers of police assaults in the Highlands and Islands Division.
“Police officers do not, and should not, come to work to be abused or assaulted. It is not part of their job, and it can impact them the same as any member of the public. People who abuse or assault officers will be reported for it.
“Support from the public is vital in enabling us to do what we can to protect our communities. I would encourage you to continue to report any crimes so that we can take relevant action and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
“I would urge you to complete our online survey at https://consult.scotland.police.uk/strategy-insight-and-innovation/your-police-2022-2023/ to highlight areas of concern and good practice, helping us improve our policing services in our communities.
“With the New Year upon us, I urge everyone to act responsibly. Do not put yourself or others at risk by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This could have tragic consequences and can ruin many lives. Keep yourself, your family and others safe.
“Looking ahead to 2023, we have a number of events in the calendar, including Midnight Sun – a new event being held in May – HebCelt and EDF in July (subject to licenses).
“We look forward to these events and many more, as they provide us with an opportunity to interact with people, locals and visitors alike.
“We will continue to work hard to keep everyone safe and remain focused on the issues that you have told us are a priority.
“We are contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week via 101, or 999 in an emergency.
“Officers are on duty 24/7 and there are three staff members who work in the Stornoway office between 7am and midnight, though opening hours can vary due to shift work.
“We have both a doorbell and an intercom system in operation which ensures anyone attending the office can receive a response, though that may not always be in person.
“On behalf of all officers and staff in the Western Isles, I wish you a safe and happy New Year. Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh uile.”
The picture shows Chief Insp Mackenzie at Stornoway police station yesterday (Friday 30 December).