Serious violent crime in Falkirk district has fallen by 9% in a decade, official figures show.

In 2008-09, police recorded 133 serious assaults or attempted murders in the Falkirk Council area, or 8.7 cases per 10,000 residents. In 2017-18, that dropped to 126 crimes, or 7.9 per 10,000 residents.

Across Scotland, there was an even more dramatic 38% decrease in serious violent crime over that period.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson, who served as Justice Secretary from November 2014 until June last year, said: “These latest figures are further evidence that our communities have become safer under an SNP Government and that the Scottish Government’s evidence-based approach to justice is working.

“It’s vital that we build on this progress. The SNP Government will continue to invest in crime prevention and work with police to come up with the most effective measures to further reduce violent crime where it persists.

“This fall in serious assaults and attempted murders also coincides with a rise in police numbers since the SNP came to power in 2007 – in sharp contrast to England and Wales, where police numbers have fallen by almost 20,000 over the same period.”