In 2007, we said we would work to make Scotland safer, and over these past four years there have been big falls in crime levels in Scotland:
We’ve put 1,105 more police on Scotland’s streets, helping drive recorded crime down to its lowest level for 37 years. Violent crime is down by just under a third, and offences involving a firearm by almost half since the SNP came to office. Fear of crime has fallen since the SNP came to power and is now the lowest in the UK.
Over the past 6 years the number of under 16s carrying a knife has fallen by an extraordinary 75% in Strathclyde. In Glasgow, assaults involving a knife had fallen by a third since 2006 and there has been a 41% drop in the number of people of all ages found with a knife.
We’ve used £46 million seized from criminals to invest in community projects for 600,000 Scottish kids. And, we’ve put in place new measures to cut re-offending with tough community payback orders.
We’ve delivered faster justice with three quarters of cases completed within six months. Criminals are being locked up for longer with prison sentences at their longest for a decade.
We’ve reformed the laws on sexual offences to make it easier to prosecute people for serious sexual attacks. We’ve increased funding for Victim Support Scotland and our victim notification scheme is helping people affected by crime. And, we’ve provided parents with more information on dangerous paedophiles to protect children in local communities.
We’re also tackling Scotland’s drug problem head-on through our national drugs commission, the new national drugs strategy and 20 per cent more funding to help people recover from addiction.