CORONAVIRUS lockdown brought with it a decrease in crime across Fife.

Between April and June, the total number of crimes fell by 15.8 per cent – a drop of 1,249 offences compared to the same period last year.

A report due to go to Fife Council's Environment and Protective Services Committee on Thursday acknowledged the reduction.

"During this reporting period, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen Police Scotland operating in unprecedented times," said Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan.

"For a large portion of the quarter, Scotland has been adhering to ‘lockdown’ and this has had a significant impact on the incidents and crimes recorded, with changes in demand experienced as Government restrictions were introduced."

Violent crime was down from 141 to 119 with a notable reduction in the number of serious assaults – down 25.4 per cent.

Culpable homicide was down by three while common assaults saw a decrease from 1,011 to 980 compared with the same reporting

period in 2019/2020.

"It is likely that the phased easing of COVID lockdown measures will result in increased violence and disorder amongst local communities," added the report.

"The easing of lockdown has afforded people the opportunity to socialise, combined with alcohol consumption and the limitations due to social distancing could potentially lead to increased tensions.

Overall dishonesty offences were down 19.3 per cent, with sexual crime reducing by 29.1 per cent and housebreaking down 29.8 per cent.

One figure which saw a dramatic increase was the number of complaints regarding disorder – soaring by 67.9 per cent to 7795 offences.

Chief Superintendent McEwan said there had been a "developing problem" of anti social behaviour since the enforced lockdown.

"Since the introduction of the emergency legislation it has been recognised that the best solution to resolve the situation is a partnership approach with the local authority," he said.

"This ensured that there was maximum opportunity to tackle the anti-social behaviour and resolve the issues arising. A collaborated approach between Fife Division and Fife Council instigated a process that enabled joint visits to take place to tackle the issues.

"This approach improved a partnership approach to incidents and ensured that a more effective resolution was found to tackle the increasing anti-social behaviour incidents."