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New Police Commander for the Scottish Borders

Credit: Police Scotland

The Lothians and Scottish Borders police division has welcomed Chief Superintendent Ivor Marshall as its new Divisional Commander.

Having the support of local communities is vitally important to our work so we will ensure that our values of integrity, fairness and respect sit at the heart of all that we do so that we maintain the trust and confidence of the people we serve.”

– CS Ivor Marshall, Divisional Commander, Police Scotland

CS Marshall replaces Chief Superintendent Gillian Imery, who has taken up a post seconded to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary Scotland.

Two teenagers charged with wilful fireraising in Peebles

Credit: Press Association

Police in the Scottish Borders have charged two teenage boys following an act of wilful fireraising in Peebles.

At around 1.30pm on Saturday cardboard and other combustible materials were set alight in the Alexander Lucas Stand at Whitestone Park.

"This was an extremely disrespectful act which risked the safety of everyone within the grounds.

"I want to thank the public for their support during our enquiries and reassure the local community that behaviour such as this will not be tolerated."

– PC Barry Taylor of Peebles

“Deliberately set fires are dangerous; they waste time and money, and keep our crews away from real emergencies.

“Those who start these fires deliberately are not only wasting time and resources, they must remember it could be someone they know who may be in serious danger elsewhere, but firefighters have been delayed due to their actions.

“Whether the reason for starting fires deliberately is boredom, bravado or wanting to see the fire engine go past with its lights on, it doesn’t matter, their actions could ultimately put lives in danger."

– David Farries, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

The 13 and 14-year-old will be reported to the Children's Reporter.

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Searches ongoing for missing 79-year-old in Borders

UPDATE: Sarah has been since been found safe and well.

Police Scotland is searching for an elderly woman reported missing in the Scottish Borders.

Sarah Philips was last seen at around 7:30am on Saturday, May 14, near her home in Bonchester Bridge.

The 79-year-old is fit for her age and is believed may have walked into a rural area through fields or local forestry routes.

Specialist search teams including dog handlers and police helicopter are carrying out an extensive search in the vicinity in an effort to find Sarah as quickly as possible.

They are being aided by the Coastguard and by members of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue.

Sarah may appear confused or disorientated and police are growing increasingly concerned for her welfare.

She is described as 5'1''tall, with short white hair, of medium build and with blue eyes. As the time of her disappearance she was wearing a brown coat, short blue trousers, a red hat and tan coloured boots.

Sarah may appear very confused and concern for her is growing as time passes.

Anyone who may have seen her should contact police.

Spate of power tool thefts in Scottish Borders

Three work vans have been broken into in the Scottish Borders with thousands of pounds worth of power tools stolen.

Police are appealing to the public to be vigilant after the thefts in Tweedbank and Melrose.

Ford Transit vans were targeted outside separate addresses on Honeylees Drive in Tweedbank and another address in Melrose sometime overnight between Thursday, April 7, and Friday, April 8.

Police say the power tools stolen were worth around £5,500.

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

"Given the nature of these crimes and their close proximity it is highly likely that these incidents are linked.

"Today, I ask anyone with information that might help trace those responsible or who noticed any unusual behaviour around the time of these offences to come forward as soon as possible.

"Likewise, if you have been approached recently to buy second-hand power tools and are suspicious about where they came from then you should let us know.

"I would also ask all owners of Ford vans to review their security in light of these recent break-ins and make sure they have taken adequate steps to protect their vehicles.

"This includes parking in well lit areas and removing any high value items from within. If this is not possible then ensure that any valuable items are hidden from view. Thieves are opportunistic by their nature and are always looking for soft targets. By taking some straightforward preventative measures you reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime."

– Inspector Mike Bennett, Police Scotland

Police Scotland ask for public feedback on policing

Police Scotland have launched their annual public consultation, asking for feedback on the way their communities are policed.

It's the first year the consultation is being held online, which they say will help them reach a much wider audience.

Police Scotland say it will help them to focus on the priorities that matter most to the communities.

83-year-old knocked down on Moffat High Street

Police Credit: PA

Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses after an 83-year-old woman was hit by a car on Moffat High Street.

The incident happened at around midday on Wednesday 6th April, when a black VW Polo was in collision with the woman outside the Bank of Scotland.

The woman was knocked to the ground, however was not injured and the driver of the car stopped at the time.

"We want to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this collision on Wednesday. They can call us at Moffat on the 101 number."

– Constable Terry Robertson, Police Scotland

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Second person arrested in Galashiels drugs bust

Police Scotland says a second person has been arrested and charged with drug offences in the Scottish Borders as part of the ongoing Operation Gatekeeper.

Dealer quantities of heroin were recovered during a police rain at an address in Galashiels on Monday, March 28. A number of diazepam tablets and other drug related items were also found.

A 28-year-old man will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and appear in court at a later date.

Operation Gatekeeper was launched to tackle all forms of drug crime across the Scottish Borders and actively target those responsible for the production and distribution of harmful substances.

Once again, vital information from the public resulted in the successful recovery of heroin and a male will face drug charges at court.

We will continue to work alongside our relevant partner agencies and local communities to identify those responsible for drug crime and bring them to justice.

– Detective Inspector David Fyvie from the Lothians and Scottish Borders Proactive Unit

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

New police commander for Dumfries & Galloway

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie (left) and Chief Superintendent Mike Leslie Credit: Police Scotland

Police Scotland has appointed a new commander for Dumfries and Galloway.

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie replaces Chief Superintendent Mike Leslie who has retired after 30 years of police service.

Mr Ritchie has been a police officer for 23 years and previously worked in operational roles in North Ayrshire, Paisley and Glasgow.

“I am delighted to be taking charge here in Dumfries and Galloway in what has consistently been one of the best performing divisions in Scotland and I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining this high standard.

"I have already been around some of the region visiting officers and staff and they are clearly committed to delivering the best service possible to the community. I hope to build on what is an excellent community policing model."

– Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie

Caravan fire in Thornhill

Credit: PA

Police are appealing for witnesses in relation to a fire which saw a caravan totally destroyed in a lay-by near to the entrance to the Tarmac quarry at Morrington, Dunscore, Thornhill.

The fire was discovered at around 1.30am on Monday 18 January 2015.

The caravan is unable to be identified due to the extent of damage and there have been no reports of a caravan being stolen.

It appears from the information we have that the caravan arrived at the lay-by sometime between midnight and the time it was spotted on fire at around 0130 hours. Anyone who can help is asked to call the 101 number.

– Constable Jim Kirkpatrick, Police Scotland
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