Violence, sexual and drug crime on the rise

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today demanded the Justice Secretary “urgently re-examine” strained police resources after newly published crime statistics revealed a “steep rise” in violent, sexual and drug related crimes.

The Recorded Crime in Scotland statistics published today showed:

  • Non-sexual crimes of violence increased by 10% in 2018-19, from 7,251 to 8,008.
  • Sexual crimes increased by 8% from 12,487 to 13,547.
  • Drugs crime increased by 8%. Most of these crimes (86%) are drug possession, where the quantity of drugs seized is small enough to be considered for personal use (as opposed to crimes of drug supply).
  • The clear up rate for sexual offences (Crimes cleared up by the police as a percentage of those recorded) fell again. The clear up rate for 2018-19 is the lowest since 1979.

On the rise in violent and sexual crime, Liam McArthur commented:

“The steep rise in violent and sexual crime is extremely concerning. Thousands of families will have been left reeling from unthinkable attacks.

“Police officers and staff work tirelessly to keep our communities safe but it’s clear that a lack of resources, the loss of valuable civilian expertise and the reliance on outdated IT systems is hampering their work.

“Our system is under immense pressure. The Justice Secretary needs to urgently re-examine police resourcing.”

On the rise in drug related crime, Liam McArthur commented:

“Locking people up for the possession of drugs for personal use is a losing battle.

“We should be tackling drug misuse as a health issue, rather than spending millions on ineffective custodial sentences. This would free up resources for use elsewhere in our criminal justice system.”

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