Homicide rate reduces


The number of homicide cases in Scotland has dropped by 28 per cent in a decade, statistics revealed today.

Figures from Homicide in Scotland 2011-12 show an 11 percent decrease in cases in 2011-12 compared to the previous year and the second lowest number of homicide cases in 10 years.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“This Government is working hard to ensure that Scotland is a safe place to live. A drop of 28 per cent in the number of homicide cases in the last a decade shows we are making progress in the battle against violent crime. Following a further decrease of 11 per cent since last year it is reassuring to see these figures are going in the right direction.

“However this is no cause for celebration. Ninety lives have been lost. Behind these figures are victims and grieving families and my sincere sympathies go out to all those who have lost loved ones.  Despite the fall, today’s statistics show the same pattern as in previous years. Most victims are male, knew their killer, most homicides take place in private residences, not on the street, and alcohol continues to be a key feature of homicide in Scotland.

“This Government has always been clear that alcohol abuse costs lives. This price is too high to pay. The number of people accused of homicide who are reported to be drunk at the time underlines the importance of bringing in minimum pricing to tackle alcohol misuse. No single action will bring about the change needed, which is why a package of over 40 measures in our Framework for Action aims to reduce consumption, support communities, encourage positive choices and improve treatment and support services.

“We are committed to tackling violence and are constantly looking at new ways of reducing knife crime even further, and there will be absolutely no let up in our efforts. Courts in Scotland are discharging the toughest sentencing regime in the UK, the average length of prison sentences for carrying an offensive weapon are at their highest for a decade, police forces are carrying out a record number of stop and searches and the funding for successful initiatives such as the No Knives, Better Lives education campaign has doubled.

“With over 1,000 extra police officers in communities and recorded crime at its lowest level for 37 years, all the statistics show that our approach is working.  But we will continue to work tirelessly with our police forces, prosecutors and community organisations and together we will tackle violent crime wherever and whenever it occurs.”

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