ROBBERIES in the police division covering Dumbarton and the Vale have more than doubled year-on-year, according to newly-released figures.

A report to be considered by West Dunbartonshire Council’s housing and communities committee this week states that there were 27 robberies in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire in the 12 months to March 31, compared with 12 in the previous year.

However, crimes of violence have fallen, from 182 in the year to March 2020 to 157 in the last 12 months.

Serious assaults have also fallen from 86 to 62, the report states.

In line with recent trends, crimes relating to indecent images or communications show the biggest year-on-year rise, from 55 to 91 – with three out of five involving children aged between seven and 16.

In contrast, the number of rapes or attempted rapes fell from 55 to 40 and indecent or sexual assaults fell from 91 to 63.

The report states: “Despite an overall reduction, fraud crimes continue to show an increase of 53.1 per cent. Housebreaking crimes have also increased slightly from 178 to 205, largely due to rise in crimes at domestic properties.

“There have been 313 cyber-enabled crimes recorded within West Dunbartonshire, compared to 131 last year. To date 88 crimes have been detected.

“The most commonly recorded types of cyber-enabled crimes are crimes involving threatening behaviour, indecent communications/images and fraud. To date 88 crimes have been detected.”

Sixty-six “bogus crimes” were recorded in the 12 months to the end of March, compared to 32 for the previous year – with “social engineering frauds” accounting for 56 of those recorded incidents.

However, the report also reveals a significant fall in the number of road casualties, from 86 in 2019-20 to just 24 in the last 12 months.