Since my last column, I have met with Police Scotland Area Commander, Chief Inspector Harrison, to discuss the police response to the spate of local vandalism and other issues around Banff and Buchan.
We both agreed on the importance of people reporting incidents to the police whenever and wherever they see them.
The police will act on information received but the more information they get from members of the public, the better chance there is of resolving the situation.
There has been a very slight increase in criminal activity recently but thankfully remains lower than in previous years.
Covid restrictions have meant that Police have been able to focus their resources in the last 12 months and have had some success in working with colleagues across Scotland and the rest of the UK in dealing with drug crime – particularly with regard to ‘county lines’ gangs.
I am pleased to see that the vaccine rollout is still going strong across the whole United Kingdom, with over 18s now starting to receive their appointments for their jabs.
I recently met with NHS Grampian and was pleased to hear that they anticipate offering all adults in Grampian their first dose slightly ahead of schedule.
Further afield, the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine also continues to help inoculate people around the world, with over 500 million jabs being delivered in over 180 countries.
This vaccine is particularly suitable for use in developing countries as it does not need to be stored at extremely low temperatures and can therefore reach the poorest and most remote communities in the world more easily.
This UK-produced vaccine developed and distributed at no profit, along with the rest of the UK-wide vaccine programme, is a great British achievement, but of value around the whole world.
I would like to thank everyone who has come forward to receive their vaccination when invited and encourage everyone else to do so when the time comes.
The more of the population is inoculated, the closer we get to finally getting back to some kind of normality and getting our economic recovery back on track.
I am pleased to say that the UK Government has brough forward the end of coal as part of the UK’s energy mix to 2024.
This is a key step in UK Government’s plans to decarbonise the power sector and eliminate the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050 in a move that means that within just 10 years the UK will have reduced its reliance on coal for electricity from around a third to zero, helping the country build back greener.
While focussing on the next-generation technology needed to support the UK’s green industrial revolution we also have a great opportunity to harness Scotland’s existing highly skilled workforce to protect and create jobs.
Armed Forces Week was a chance to pay tribute to the work of all of our military personnel, home and abroad.
The British Armed Forces have also served a crucial role in providing testing and vaccination support during the pandemic.
I am pleased to say that UK Government has committed £6.5 million to ensure that serving personnel from anywhere in the UK are not penalised financially for serving in a higher tax regime in Scotland.