Glasgow responsible for long-term fall in violent crimes in Scotland


A study analysing crime over the last decade has revealed that falling levels of violent crime can largely be attributed to the west of Scotland, with serious assault and attempted murder cases falling by 35% in Scotland between 2008-09 and 2017-18. Non-sexual crimes of violence recorded by the police fell by 43% over the same period.

The study revealed that 89% of that reduction was as a result of fewer cases in the west of Scotland, and, in particular, in the Glasgow and Greater Glasgow area.

The analysis was based on recorded crimes figures published in 2017-2018.

In 2017-2018 there were 914 attempted murders and serious assaults in Glasgow, compared to 1,817 in 2008-2009. The study also recorded that assaults are now far less likely to involve a weapon than they were in 2008-2009. The Scottish government has stated this is partly due to successful public health campaigns including "No knives, better lives".

The study, conducted by the Scottish government, has also indicated that the overall drop was assisted by a significant reduction in the number of young people involved in violent crime.

However, alcohol continues to play a significant role in violent crime across Scotland, with almost two-thirds of all serious assaults in 2017-2018 involving alcohol.

Will Linden, deputy director of Scotland's Violence Reduction Unit, told BBC Scotland:

"When we first started out [with the unit], we said that if we wanted to reduce violence in Scotland, we had to tackle it in the west and tackle it in Glasgow because that was responsible for a disproportionately high level."

He continued to say that the success of tackling crime in Glasgow could be built upon by addressing social issues in Glasgow such as poverty, alcohol, social isolation and exclusion. He said:

"Those are the big issues that we need to actually tackle if we want to reach those next levels of reduction in Scotland."

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf was encouraged by the findings of the study, stating that it demonstrated the impact of early intervention. He further added:

"Our public health approach to reducing violence has garnered interest from London and elsewhere in the UK, as well as from the World Economic Forum.

"Despite this progress, we are working closely with police and others to tackle violence wherever it persists, and that includes keeping women and girls equally safe."

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