Justice and Safety

Homicide in Scotland 2016-17

October 10, 2017 by No Comments | Category Round-up, Uncategorized

Commenting on today’s publication of Homicide in Scotland 2016-17, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said:

“While we have seen large reductions in homicides over the past 10 years, every death represents a tragic loss of life, leaving friends and families grieving.

“That is why we will maintain our efforts across justice and public services, through education and enforcement, to continue driving down violence in our communities.

“We continue to ensure our law enforcement agencies and courts have the resources to deal with those who harm others, while supporting prevention work with young people and projects that help people break free from cycles of violence.”


  • The Scottish Government continues to invest in the National Violence Reduction Unit – investing over £8.7 million since 2008. This includes delivery of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme working in 18 local authorities, and the Medics Against Violence work which includes training professionals such as dentists, doctors, vets, fire fighters and hairdressers across the country to recognise signs of domestic abuse and offer support and guidance to victims.
  • The Scottish Government has also invested over £3.4 million in since 2009 No Knives Better Lives – a programme that aims to reduce incidences of violence and knife possession among young people by raising awareness of the potentially devastating risks and consequences of carrying a knife, and encouraging young people to make positive life choices. This programme is now being delivered in 25 local authorities.
  • People who are convicted of a non-sexual crime of violence in the Scottish courts are now more likely to receive a custodial sentence than they were 10 years ago. The average custodial sentence length for handling offensive weapons has more than doubled from 160 days in 2006-07 to 365 days in 2015-16.
  • Scottish courts have the power and discretion to sentence up to a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of carrying a knife in public, up to life imprisonment for anyone convicted of assault with an offensive weapon, and an automatic life sentence for an offender convicted of knife murder.
  • View the statistical news release on Homicide in Scotland 2016-17.

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