Amongst all the argy bargy in the world and the debacle of the American political situation today I thought I'd do a blog with some good news. But first, please reassure us that Mr Trump's political career is over. I am getting a little cross about him 'groping woman like an octopus' and him being a ‘ despicable slug'.... well if I was a cephalopod mollusc octopoda or an arion distinctus I’d be really annoyed.
Preferable, not despicable!!
It’s very insulting, esp the octopus as they are rather bright and sensitive creatures.
Even if he is a wee tad orange, he can change his colour easily,
so he has some political traits....
However, here in the normal world, there is good news. The number of homicides in Scotland has fallen again - down 5 from the previous 12 months, to 57. That is, in English speak, murder and manslaughter. This is the lowest number since 1976 and weirdly half the figure of 9 years ago. As I type this only one of them remains unsolved, so that’s pretty good isn't it?
my bit of the world
Since returning from New Orleans I've become obsessed with CBS reality and a program called “Snapped Killer Couples”. In this program no woman seems surprised when her boyfriend of a fortnight says he would like her to go back to his place to see his AK-47. In Scotland that’s a euphemism. In America that is fact (after watching a few episodes of this program Alan has refused to let me take out any life insurance on him ….ever).
In Scotland, where guns are little more than an abstract thought process. The most common method of killing someone is with a ‘sharp instrument’ ( as opposed to a blunt one), usually a knife, and that remains our big problem.
Here are some other statistics that were picked up in the May 2015 to May 2016 report : 31% i.e. about 20 persons were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they committed the offence. Between this twelve month period and the previous year, there was an 8% drop in the rate of homicide ( 52% in the last 10 years!). Of the 65 people accused of homicide, and 86% of them were male. Of the 57 victims, 41 of them were male.
It’s fair to say that this is the result of a two pronged attack; more emphasis on education and stronger enforcement at a younger level. The casual attitude to alcohol misuse and violence is being challenged at every level. Young people are being steered away from the risks of a life of violence and crime and the courts are coming down harder on those who do commit serious offences.
In the bigger picture, the incidence of violence is falling all over the UK and Europe but in Scotland it’s falling more sharply than all others - maybe because they had a higher level to fall down from! It’s interesting to note that Scots are murdering each other less in the street and a lot more in their own homes. Other types of offending also show a reduction in incidence; motor vehicle and household thefts have much reduced due to increased security measures. But there is an interesting social phenomenon that the lack of ‘debut crimes’ ( the vandalism and house/car breaking) means that the offenders don't get on the ladder to escalate towards more violent crime. And of course, there has been a huge decrease in graffiti, due to social media and idle hands finding other ways to amuse themselves.
6 feet long and deadly, the claymore.
We don't carry them any more. Well not much....well
In Scotland, special operations in knife carrying and targeted use of stop and search has helped in high violence areas. I have blogged before about the Violence Reduction Unit which focuses on educating those at risk and there is now a campaign; 'No knives better lives'.
Having said all that high crime areas remain high crime areas despite Edinburgh's attempt to become a criminal hotspot (since the parliament moved there crime figures have doubled in Edinburgh!). The city of Glasgow continues to have by far the highest rates, so I guess I can keep writing about murder and mayhem in the fair green city.
Caro Ramsay 14 10 2016