COMMUNITIES FEEL SAFER THANKS TO FALLING CRIME

More people than ever feel safe in their neighbourhood thanks to a sharp fall in crime under the SNP Government.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the findings of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016-17, which estimates that the number of crimes nationwide has dropped by 32 per cent since 2008-09. Property crime is down 34% and violence fell by 27%.

The survey also found that 77% of adults feel safe walking alone in their local area after dark, which is the highest level ever measured and up from 66% nearly a decade ago.
While one in five Scots experienced crime in 2008-09, that figure fell to one in seven last year.

People living in deprived areas and those aged 16 to 24 are most likely to be victims. But the proportion of young adults experiencing violent crime has more than halved from 12% nine years ago to 5.3% in 2016-17. And over the same period, the proportion of adults in the most deprived areas who fell victim to any crime dropped from 26% to 19.4%.

Justice Secretary Mr Matheson said: “The official statistics show recorded crime in Falkirk district fell by 6% last year – and it’s good to see that this downward trend is also reflected in the findings of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, which asks respondents about their experience of crime, whether or not it was reported to police.

“It’s also heartening that a growing number of people say that police in their local area are doing a good or excellent job and that public confidence in the force’s ability to catch criminals and solve crimes is rising. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of police officers and staff in our communities.

“Scotland’s firm focus on prevention, responsive policing and local partnerships to help individuals and communities keep themselves safe has had a positive impact on long-term crime trends, with recorded crime at a 43-year low.

“While this progress is encouraging, it will never be an excuse for complacency. As well as continued Government investment in policing and funding for partners such as Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, Crimestoppers and the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, I have commissioned further research into those areas where violence persists.

“We must keep identifying those areas where we can most effectively focus our collective efforts to achieve the greatest impact, ensuring all our communities in Falkirk district and beyond benefit from falling crime.”