SHOPLIFTING in the Wee County has increased by 78 per cent and robberies have more than doubled over the most recent reporting period. 

The Clackmannanshire Audit and Scrutiny Committee reviewed the annual police performance report for Clackmannanshire on Thursday and heard from officers about crime rates from October 2022 to March 2023. 

Shoplifting and robbery saw some of the biggest increases during this period with shoplifting cases skyrocketing by 78 per cent and robbery crimes more than doubling compared to the previous reporting period. 

Police say there were 147 more shoplifting victims in Clackmannanshire from 2022-23 than in the previous year. 

The report stated that two prolific holiday shoplifters were charged with a total of 18 crimes during this time and another prolific shoplifter was arrested in the Alloa area for 11 crimes of shoplifting and intended theft. 

According to police, the duo targeted local shops in Clackmannanshire selling foodstuffs, cleaning products and items that could easily be sold on.

The other shoplifter was captured after a string of offences were reported at different premises in the Alloa area throughout February and March. 

The police report said: “The detection and apprehension of these prolific criminals instilled confidence in local shopkeepers and with small business owners, highlighting that police also prioritise this type of offending.

"This was having a massive impact on their businesses, at a time when the cost of living crisis was already affecting all areas of the community."

Robberies also increased by 120 per cent during the year. Police reported 22 robberies throughout the most recent reporting period compared to only 10 in 2021-22. 

Despite the year-on-year jump, police say the current figure is comparable to the number of robberies reported three years ago. 

However, it was not all bad news as police reported that the number of domestic abuse incidents reported to police had decreased by 11 per cent with 656 cases reported compared to 740 cases in 2021-22.

The number of sexual crimes was also down by 23 per cent, while police reported three cases of drug production, manufacture or cultivation compared to eight cases in 2021-22. 

The report continued: “Some of the risks and threats which continue to present in Clackmannanshire are: domestic abuse; crimes of violence; possession and supply of controlled drugs; and cyber fraud.

“By their nature, these remain longer-term threats and Forth Valley Division continues to focus on intervention and enforcement to address them.

"There were no significant new operational issues emerging during the current reporting period.”