More than 100 people have been arrested and nearly 150 warrants executed as Police Scotland continues its high profile crackdown on violent crime across the North East
Community Policing Teams assisted by officers from the Divisional Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit (DAVRU) and other specialist officers were deployed to Operation PINE for a two-week duration to target offenders and focus on outstanding apprehension warrants, in particular those related to violence.
During the operation - which took place between Monday, August 8, and Friday, August 19, a total of 108 people were apprehended on warrant for outstanding crimes, failure to appear at court, failure to comply with court orders and non-payment of fines.
A total of 89 individuals were arrested on Apprehension Warrants while 19 individuals were dealt with by officers for failing to pay fines. Fine defaulters with an accumulated debt of £15,863 were dealt with during the operation.
The apprehension of 108 people resulted in a total of 146 warrants being cleared for a variety of offences including violence, acquisitive crime, drugs, roads policing offences, crimes against the Crown and also included a European and other Force apprehension warrant.
Sergeant Brian Johnston of the DAVRU, who led the operation, said: "As a direct result of collaboration between specialist departments, community policing teams and most importantly the communities themselves, a meaningful impact has been made on the number of people wanted on warrant across the North East.
"This should go out as a message to those who fail to attend court or fail to pay fines that we will take robust action to ensure that you are brought before the court again, potentially to face further action."
Chief Inspector Murray Main, who is leading Operation PINE and the prevention strategy for violence, said: "This latest course of action builds on our promise to communities in the North East that we will target those responsible for committing crime and also those people that flaunt the criminal justice system.
"I am extremely encouraged by these latest results, and the high number of people arrested across the region reinforces our continuing robust approach to targeting offenders. However by no means will we become complacent when it comes to such serious crimes, and this latest success will only further strengthen our commitment to tackling violence and violent crime.
"These type of incidents not only impact the victim and their friends, family and witnesses but they also impact the perpetrator too, their friends and family. We will do everything we can to ensure those responsible face the full consequences of their actions.
"Keeping people safe is our top priority and we launched Operation PINE earlier this year as a targeted initiative to tackle violent crime across the region. Our activities though Operation PINE will continue to support the work we do day-in day-out to reduce the number of victims of crime and proactively focus on those criminals who are most prolific, commit most crime and cause the most issues within our communities.
"Only by implementing good practice and developing new tactical options to prevent, enforce and change attitudes, we will make the North East an even safer place for all who live, study and work here and of course, for those who come to visit."