Target to cut Scottish suicide rate by 20% by 2022
The Scottish government has set a target of reducing the country’s suicide rate by 20% by 2022. Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey announced the target alongside a new suicide prevention action plan. Suicide prevention charity Samaritans had claimed the Scottish government was not taking the issue seriously enough. Ms Haughey insisted Scotland has “made real progress in reducing deaths by suicide”, but said there was “far more to do” to tackle the issue. The government is setting up a national suicide prevention leadership group, headed by former Police Scotland deputy chief Rose Fitzpatrick, to be backed by a £3m innovation fund.
Amy Watson: Farmers and police welcome decline in the cost of rural crime in Scotland
The cost of rural crime such as livestock and tractor theft fell by 3.8 per cent in Scotland last year, according to insurers. The figure contrasts with a 13.4 per cent rise across the UK and has been welcomed by Police Scotland. The NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report highlighted the work of the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC). Chairman of the partnership, Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, said: “Across Scotland, rural partners and police have worked extremely hard to make a real difference to communities and the continued downward trend of crime figures in rural communities is an outcome linked to this approach.
Scotland’s legal chiefs face calls to review flagship laws on ‘upskirting’
Scotland’s legal chiefs are facing calls to review flagship laws introduced to tackle so-called “upskirting” amid concerns that loopholes in the legislation are behind “very low” prosecution rates. The Lord Advocate is being urged to step in after it emerged barely three convictions a year have been secured since the laws came into force with “limitations” in Scotland.
Leader comment: Scotland’s upskirting law is not fit for purpose
Sex crimes recorded in South Lanarkshire soar by 131 per cent in 10 years
The number of sexual crimes recorded by police in South Lanarkshire has jumped a massive 131 per cent since 2007. Latest statistics from the Scottish Government reveal the figure increased from 169 to 391 – nearly twice the national rise of 66 per cent during the same period.
Police Scotland told to apologise over firearms debacle
The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has recommended that Police Scotland apologise after an incident last July in which officers pointed firearms at several people and forced a man out of his home at gunpoint in Edinburgh. During a period of about 90 minutes on 22 July last year, authorised firearms officers (AFOs) were deployed seven times in the city. Events unfolded after a man made an emergency call saying that five men were outside his flat with guns, tasers and knives.