Police in Fife cleared up more sexual crimes last year, according to new figures.
There were 53 fewer reports of indecent and sexual assaults in the area in the last nine months of 2020, compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the detection rate for sexual crimes rose across several categories, including a 15% increase in rape cases.
The figures are contained in Police Scotland’s management information data for the period of April 1 to December 31, 2020.
Indecent communication offences fall from 82, to 76 and there were four fewer offences relating to the taking, distributing and possessing of indecent images of children.
However, there were 194 more reports of common assaults and six more incidents of serious assault. Detection rates in the two categories rose by nearly 6% and 5% respectively.
Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan, Divisional Commander for Fife, said there was much to be positive about in the new figures.
“Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the officers and staff within Fife Division have continued to work tirelessly to keep Fife a safe place to live, work and visit and I am encouraged by the reduction in various offences we’ve observed,” he said.
“Where crimes have been reported, in particular surrounding crimes of violence and domestic housebreaking, Fife Division are highly successful at apprehending those responsible.
“It is too early to assess the full impact Covid-19 has had on recorded crime and we must not become complacent in our efforts to reduce crime within the Kingdom further.”
He said Fife’s Public Protection Unit had been extremely successful in enhancing the detection rate and reducing various offences.
“I recognise that some forms of sexual crime remain under-reported and would urge victims to come forward so we can investigate and bring those responsible to justice,” he added.
In other categories, all forms of housebreaking incidents, including non-domestic and attempted break-ins, reduced, with 171 fewer offences reported.
However, there was a rise in fraud offences and anti-social behaviour.
In total, 5,947 more crimes of anti-social behaviour were recorded in the division, many linked to the pandemic.
Road casualties fell by 117 and there were three fewer fatal collisions on Fife’s roads.
Mr McEwan added: “I also welcome our reduction in road casualties and the fall in serious motoring offences such as drink driving and speeding. I hope to see continued success in this area and remind the public that they should never risk getting behind the wheel while under the influence.”