11. Safety, Security and Resilience

Crime and Quality of Life Incidents

The Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber (CBM) suburbs are relatively safe and secure areas of the city. Monthly reviews of Crimes and Quality of Life Incidents usually show less than five instances in each category and serious crime is exceptional. Unfortunately, Grampian Police do not publish trend statistics on a local basis. For early warnings of potential increase of specific criminal activities the community has to rely on advice of local police officers in their meetings and through media communication.

The CBM area is policed by the Hazlehead Community Policing Team based in the Hazlehead Police Station. Local officers operate from the Cults Police Office in the Cults Academy building which is manned 24/7.

City Wardens patrol the area regularly but not frequently – averaging about once per three days – to spot parking and other quality of life offences, but due to the extensive and widely built up area to be covered they are not frequently seen.

A number of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes are operated in the CBM area. These schemes offer protection against opportunistic crime and unwanted cold callers and also may promote good contacts between neighbours.

Specific attention is drawn to the following common crimes in the area:

  1. Car or motor cycle theft by house breaking or entering unsecured premises to find the keys. The stolen vehicles are usually recovered elsewhere in Aberdeen after being used for joy riding.
  2. Theft from motor vehicles.
  3. Housebreaking and forced entry into garages and sheds.
  4. Speeding and inconsiderate driving.

Common quality of life incidents are:

  1. Use of motorcycles on forest footpaths and the Old Railway line path
  2. Rogue parking on double yellow lines and outside schools
  3. Antisocial youth behaviour and vandalism

Emergencies and Natural Disasters

Emergencies could come in many forms but the majority are caused by:

  • Severe weather (snow, ice, heavy rain, high winds)
  • Flooding (river Dee in spate, feeder burns overflowing, standing water)
  • Fires (domestic, residential homes, industrial or forest)
  • Major transport incidents (accidents, chemical spills, fires)
  • Lengthy loss of uitilities (gas, water, electricity)
  • Disease control (human, animal-quarantine)

The main risk in the CBM area is related to flooding caused by the river Dee or due to excessive rainfall on the hillsides.  Storm Frank caused considerable problems in 2015 when low areas along the river were flooded and a number of houses had to be evacuated.  The Deeside golf course was also flooded and out of use for several months as the floodwaters had deposited large amounts of silt from the upstream building site of the new bridge for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

In previous years excessive rain has caused flooding in Cults due to the Cults burn overflowing up stream. The area has also experienced a major hotel fire disaster in the past.

 

Key Issues

  1. Due to the limited number and frequent change of officers the activity of police and city wardens in the area – although reasonably effective – is not very visible. This will also be owing to the low local crime rate but it may make residents feel insecure and not knowing what to do if they are affected by crime. Information on criminal activity is also rather haphazard.
  2. The area should prepare itself for any future emergencies by activating a Resilience Plan. A draft plan was prepared in 2017 but many aspects need to be completed and confirmed.
  3. The traffic situation in the area will change materially after completion of the AWPR and the new township of Countesswells. This may affect road safety.

 

Community Council Objectives

To continue discussion with the Police to receive a more systematic flow of information on security matters thus allowing trends to be monitored and seen by all.

To complete and activate the Resilience Plan and set up a volunteer team to provide early assistance when disasters might occur.

To monitor the future traffic situation and call for corrective action if needed.

 

Consultation

  1. Are there any security issues that would require special attention of the Police or Wardens?
  2. Are there any traffic safety issues that have not been addressed to date?
  3. If it is agreed that it is essential to have a Resilience Plan for the CBM area would you volunteer to be involved either personally or by providing equipment/facilities?