Police look back at May

Police Scotland’s review of May in Kincardine and Mearns was published today.

Antisocial behaviour, Violence and Disorder:

There has been a decrease in the number of antisocial behaviour calls, with 47 incidents reported, including 12 calls related to minor disturbances and 35 related to other such behaviour. There were also two incidents of suspected wilful fire-raising which are still being investigated. There were no injuries associated with these fires.

There were 11 assault crime reports raised, which is an increase on the previous month. Of those, seven are detected and reported to the procurator fiscal, two have resulted in persons being warned, with two still under investigation. Two of the detected crime reports relate to assaults on police officers.

There were no serious assaults reported.

Acquisitive Crime:

There have been 21 thefts, 12 of which are detected and relate to a crime series in the Fettercairn area where two men have been arrested and charged with three instances of theft by housebreaking, two intended thefts, two thefts of a motor vehicle, two thefts from motor vehicles, and two thefts.

Following a pursuit, the vehicles were recovered in Aberdeen and a number of items of stolen property recovered including three wedding rings.

Five cases of shoplifting have been reported; two are detected and reported to the fiscal, and two are ongoing with positive lines of enquiry.

There have been three thefts; two undetected with one enquiry ongoing, and 1one an unlawful removal of a motor vehicle, which is detected and the vehicle recovered.

Road Safety & road crime:

One driver was found to be under the influence of alcohol and has been reported to fiscal.

There have been three reported incidents of dangerous driving. Two have been detected and reported to the fiscal, the other is still being investigated with positive lines of enquiry.

Four reported incidents of careless driving. All are detected and reported to the fiscal.


Two drug search warrants were executed, both with positive results leading to one person being reported in relation to possession of a controlled drug and an investigation ongoing in relation to three persons being concerned in the supply of drugs.


You can communicate with Police Scotland using any of the following:
 101 – Non emergency;
 Email – StonehavenLowerDeesideCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk
 Twitter – @NorthEPolice
 Facebook – www.Facebook.com/NorthEastPoliceDivision
 Web – www.scotland.police.uk
 999 – Emergency;
 0800 555 111 – Crimestoppers.

Concern as covid cases on the up

NHS Grampian is getting worried about the increasing number of covid-19 cases.

At the end of May the numbers of cases identified each day were around eight or nine each day, leading to a perception that covid-19 had ceased to be a particular problem in Grampian. However, since then the number of cases has been steadily rising, with 34 cases reported for 9 June. Cases are now doubling approximately every six to seven days.

NHS Grampian says the objective now must be to delay the speed of the rise of this third wave for as long as possible and to use this period of delay to get as many people as possible vaccinated, ideally with two doses of the vaccine.

Testing, particularly asymptomatic testing, is key to interrupting the spread. In addition to the currently available testing centres a mobile testing centre is opening in Banchory and Stonehaven from 12 to 16 June, and a testing service is opening in Aboyne Area Office from 11 to 18 June. Details of how to arrange a test are at https://www.nhsgrampian.org/covid-19/covid-19-public-information/subpages/covid-19-community-testing/

LFD tests can also be picked up from participating community pharmacies. You can find the nearest pharmacy at https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/findatestcenter.html

So what can people do to help?

• When invited people should go for the vaccination. Now that we are vaccinating younger age groups there is a significant proportion of appointments that are not being taken up. Younger people are still at risk of hospitalisation and of developing long covid and should not assume that they don’t need to get vaccinated.

• Just because people are allowed to do some things does not mean that they should do these things. So people should:
o Avoid unnecessary travel outwith their own area, and especially to the Central Belt and to England. If you do need to travel for your work or indeed for a family celebration participate in regular testing in addition to usual precautions.
o Avoid crowded indoor places. If it looks too crowded, it is too crowded.o Limit the numbers of people mixing at home.
o Continue with the usual precautions of social distancing and use of face coverings. Apart from mixing in households these precautions still apply in shops, public transport, circulation areas in public buildings and workplaces.

• Hospitality venues should continue to comply with the covid requirements. Good ventilation and physical distancing are still required even in level 2.

• Businesses should consider whether or not they wish to close voluntarily, particularly in hot spot areas.

Local jags centre to move

The Kincardine & Mearns Vaccination Clinic is moving from Stonehaven Leisure Centre to Stonehaven Town Hall from Monday 14 June.

The clinic has been running like clockwork in the leisure centre since January, however work is taking place on the sports hall roof. It is no longer tenable for the clinic to remain there, despite contractors doing all they can the mitigate the impact of the work – noise, dust and debris.

Groups who currently use the Town Hall will be offered alternative accommodation, where possible.

It is anticipated that the clinic will need to use the Town Hall until at least August.

If you have been sent an appointment letter which asks you to go to the leisure centre from 14 June, please go to the town hall instead.

Electric trains for North East?

ScotRail is looking at electrifying the Aberdeen line to the Central Belt by 2030, the North East transport partnership Nestrans heard this afternoon.

Alex Hynes from ScotRail told the meeting this would be part of a target to decarbonise the railway by 2035.

The 2030 date would coincide with the end of life for the current “125” rolling stock which connects the country’s seven main cities. ScotRail has 25 high speed trains which currently have four carriages, and this is expected to increase to five shortly.

He said continuous electrification across Scotland is key to removing diesel power. This would offer other benefits too such as faster services. The Barrhead line is being electrified.

Mr Hynes said that climate change – which is driving this decarbonising – is affecting Scotland more than the three other UK countries.

Other points included:

  • 25% more trains in Scotland compared with when Arbellio, the state-owned Dutch national rail operator, took over ScotRail in 2015.
  • Dedicated cycle carriages are to be trialled on the West Highland line.
  • New timetables will be introduced in May.
  • Passenger numbers are now 60% down on pre-pandemic levels. Physical distancing requirements on trains are one metre spacing plus a face mask.
  • More people were using Portlethen station before the pandemic struck as a result of the introduction of regular Montrose-Aberdeen-Inverurie commuter trains.
  • The training of new train drivers has had to be put on hold during the pandemic as physical distancing is not possible.
  • Rail services are now back to 83% of pre-pandemic services, though in the North East this figure is 86%, and indeed 100% between Aberdeen and Inverness.
  • Kintore Station had opened since Mr Hynes last met the Nestrans board, providing a 19 minutes service to Aberdeen, compared with one hour on a bus.
  • Mr Hynes also paid tribute to the victims of the Carmont accident last August. This has changed the way the railway operates.
  • A Scottish Government owned “Operator of Last Resort” (OLR) will take over the ScotRail franchise on 1 April. The OLR will be wholly owned by Transport Scotland and will continue to use ScotRail and Scotland’s Railway branding.

The Nestrans board also agreed to establish a new grant scheme aimed at encouraging communities to bring forward sustainable travel initiatives. Grants would be up to £10,000 and groups will be expected to demonstrate commitment by a contribution (including contributions in kind) to the project.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss an application, contact Nestrans by emailing nestransinfo@nestrans.org.uk

All the reports before the board can be found here: https://www.nestrans.org.uk/about-nestrans/board-meetings/2021-board-meetings/board-papers-09-06-2021/

Updates from Newtonhill area

Interesting snippets in the minute of Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council. The members have not been meeting since the pandemic struck, and correspond by email.

Among the highlights are:

Developers are asking Scottish Ministers to reverse Aberdeenshire Council’s decision not to include bids for 120 more houses on the Moor at Newtonhill and 50 houses in Muchalls in its proposed Local Development Plan.

There are now 15 completed houses on the Moor, some of which are already occupied.

More here: https://www.facebook.com/download/555352055627492/NMCCCminutes210531.pdf?av=100005082603890&eav=AfaDYXw_a6On3kPmdnS-j6Oh3esAj5TwAHL1kwGoOoMoWCiyUhVk6m_yfmmVVhrI-qI&hash=AcpW7LuixOlqIcWBsl4&cft[0]=AZWxBzIxt8lxIGWUNvhrqYHqzyaXfcXQStuqlq95mGE-FjcSwPc5oIiANCkAe-6ebfuucWVg3133bxIHt9bFghV6D8N5JsPiPefgkXXFxNxttd6IOlp2nCJGIBWDzrp5GTRfMSPJcZSpApBSETs1u6d3LikkQroF2xirXB_tKgodg8J93Y_i3-JxWW4ju24ffDc&tn=H-y-R

Too few volunteer for community council

Portlethen and District Community Council is now moving into a special status as too few people have volunteered to be members to keep it going.

One more nomination form would have kept the PDCC afloat.

Aberdeenshire Council officers have contacted all remaining members and advised them that the community council is now in supported status. That means council officers and the remaining members will work together as a steering group to discuss a second “recall”. In other words, a further call for nominations in due course.

A report will be presented at the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee later this month.

Proposals to close police station

Police Scotland is carrying out a consultation in relation to the disposal of the Portlethen Police Station.

The office has not been open to the public for several years, so given the pressure on police budgets, and the changes to policing, I suppose it is not a surprise. Still it is disappointing to those of us who remember a local police office where you could actually talk to an officer whether it was lost property or something more serious.

Here is what Police Scotland told ward councillors, parliamentarians and Aberdeenshire Council officers:

“Police Scotland’s estates strategy is designed to ensure it is fit for purpose, reflects the nature of policing and can support service delivery to local communities.

“Each Division reviews and considers their requirements in consultation with communities, partners and stakeholders, which allows us to identify and propose locations where existing buildings no longer meet policing requirements and where other opportunities exist. By making the necessary changes to our estate, we can maintain a visible, accessible and responsive service which keeps people safe.

“The purpose of the consultation is to allow you an opportunity to provide your thoughts and comments on the proposed disposal.

“As you may be aware, there is a minimal frontline resource stationed at Portlethen with operational matters being dealt with by Officers generally located in Stonehaven instead, striving to deliver enhanced Policing services to our communities. The Portlethen area is further supported by our colleagues at Nigg Police Station, where emergency response and additional support to ongoing incidents is required.

“Any future plans will also be the subject to the approval of the Scottish Police Authority.”

I hope the the public will be given an opportunity by Police Scotland to contribute to the consultation too, but meantime I would welcome comments which will help me when I respond. The consultation closes on 5 July. Any comments should be emailed to NorthKincardineCPT@scotland.pnn.police.uk, marked for the attention of Jackie Knight.

By the way, I do not have any further details.

New planning applications

The applications below were registered last week within the North Kincardine ward and can be viewed using the council’s online Planning Register (https://upa.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/online-applications/).

Date validated: 1 June 2021.
Site address: Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, Ardoe, AB12 5YN.
Applicant: NSB Contracting Ltd c/o Colin Thompson Chartered Architect, Old Chapel Road, Inverurie, AB51 4QN.
Full planning permission for extension to driving shelter.
Public comment expiry date: 21 June.

Date validated: 31 May.
Site address: The Mill, North Tilbouries, Maryculter, AB12 5GD.
Applicant: Mrs Hannah Badial c/o Monarch Developments, Bridgend, 61 Northern Road, Kintore, AB51 0YF.
Full planning permission for alterations and extension to dwellinghouse.
Public comment expiry date: 21 June.

Date validated: 3 June.
Site address: Fire Training Centre, Portlethen, AB12 4RR.
Applicant: Scottish Fire & Rescue Service c/o Gauldie Wright & Partners Architects Ltd, 2 Osborne Place, Magdalen Yard Road, Dundee, DD2 1BD.
Full planning permission for formation of 20m x 20m concrete slab for urban search and Rescue (USAR) training and installation of two storage containers.
Public comment expiry date: 23 June.

Date validated: 2 June.
Site address: 139 Greenlaw Road, Chapelton, AB39 8AB.
Applicant: Mr Blair Moir c/o Douglas Architecture Ltd, 30 Slains Circle, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, AB22 8TW.
Full planning permission for conversion and alterations to garage to form home office and formation of stairs.
Public comment expiry date: 23 June.