A TOP cop has urged a council body not to focus on “headline numbers” when looking at crime stats.

John Paterson, who just took over as chief superintendent of the Argyll and West Dunbartonshire division of Police Scotland, made the comments while presenting a report to the management board of Community Planning West Dunbartonshire.

The Reporter revealed last week how violent crime had risen by nearly 25 per cent in just one year, but Mr Paterson was keen to add context to the figures.

He said: “We’re a relatively small division, and as such we have quite a small number of crimes.

“So I think that we should focus on the number of incidents as opposed to if the percentages have gone up or down.”

Violent crimes reported last year rose to 52 incidents.