According to Scotland’s Chief Statistician, the number of homicides committed in Scotland decreased from 5% in the year 2017-18 when compared to the same period in 2016-17. 59 murders were committed in the country in 2017-18, which is a significant decrease from 62 the previous year.
This represents a general downwards trend in the number of murders and other violent offences in Scotland over the past few decades. According to the Chief Statistician’s report, ‘Homicide in Scotland,’ the number of homicides has dropped by a startling 39% over the last decade, between 2008 and 2018.
There are several reasons why Scotland has experienced such a drastic reduction in homicide and other violent crimes in recent years. One could cite Police Scotland’s increased use of ‘stop and search’ as a method of finding weapons. However, the practice of searching the public without requiring evidence of wrongdoing, and searches of children, led to controversy.
Another explanation points towards the work of the Violence Reduction Unit, which began in Glasgow but now works across the country. Through the Unit, police work with professionals in health, education and social work to identify those who commit violent crime and change their behaviour. They run education campaigns which deter young people from using knives, and offer housing, training and employment opportunities to those willing to turn their lives around. This approach to reducing crime has been celebrated across the world, and has led to significant improvements in Scotland’s crime statistics.
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