Over the last ten years the SNP Scottish Government has taken action to make Scotland a safer place: investing in our police and reforming our criminal justice system. Scotland is now a safer place, with less crime and more police.
Here’s how, in government, we’re delivering a safer Scotland.
Over the last decade, Scotland has become a safer place.
Recorded crime in Scotland has reached its second lowest level since 1974. Since we took office, non-sexual violent crime is down by 49 per cent, robberies are down 60 per cent and handling offensive weapons – including knife crime – is down by 68 per cent. The reconviction rate has been reduced to its lowest level in 19 years, thanks to tough community sentences.
And figures show that people feel safer too. The 2016-17 Scottish Crime and Justice survey found that the proportion of adults that feel safe walking alone in their local area after dark is at a record high.
Policing in Scotland is performing well.
We have a higher number of police officers than at any time during the previous administration. And we will protect the police revenue budget in real terms for the entirety of this parliament.
The Scottish Crime and Justice survey also shows that most Scots believe police are doing a good or excellent job in their local area.
We’ve made sure serious offenders do their time in full.
The Automatic Early Release system, which was brought in by the then Tories in 1993, meant prisoners serving four years or more have to be released at the two-thirds point of sentence if they are still in custody. We ended it, ensuring long-term prisoners who pose an unacceptable risk to public safety will serve their sentence in full.
We’re investing proceeds from crime in Scotland’s communities.
Since 2008, £92 million has been seized from criminals and has been reinvested in community projects for young people across Scotland.
We’re shifting the balance towards the prevention of youth offending.
The number of young people being prosecuted in court for crime has been reduced by 78 per cent and those aged under 18 in prison has reduced by two-thirds compared to 2006-07.
We’re taking a new, more progressive approach, to prisons and community justice policy.
We have closed Scotland’s only women’s prison at Cornton Vale and are investing in a new progressive model for women’s prisons.
We’re taking new, groundbreaking, action on domestic violence.
Almost £30 million is being invested between 2017 and 2020 to tackle domestic violence against women and girls. And access to justice for survivors of domestic abuse has been improved too.
We have passed a groundbreaking Domestic Violence Bill that creates a new specific offence to help tackle domestic abuse. This covers not just physical abuse, but also other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.
We’re investing more than any previous government in taking on sectarianism.
We have invested £12.5 million to tackle sectarianism – more than any previous government.
‘Revenge porn’ is now illegal.
We have made the sharing of so-called ‘revenge porn’ a specific criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
We’re leading the way on the age of criminal responsibility.
A Bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament that will, if passed, that will raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility – ensuring that no child under 12 will receive a criminal record.