No problems here ? MacAskill’s statement contains no references to sectarian or racially motivated homicides yet at least SEVEN cases are suspected of having some level of sectarian motivation. With today given over to the Scottish Parliament’s wave through via the SNP majority of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill, the Scottish Government obviously felt it a suitable day to bury other bad news, namely the soaring murder statistics in Scotland which, strangely enough in a country where Roman Catholic churches have been desecrated & burned, letter bombs have been sent to high profile Catholic public figures & football supporters, and Catholics appear to be treated with a clear level of bias to the point of facing the statistical likelihood of being imprisoned more than other religious denominations, the desperate need to pass today’s much mocked & badly worded anti-bigot bill to tackle such sectarian crimes does not apparently extend to tackling sectarian murders in Scotland where there is NOT ONE single mention or admission of any sectarian or racially related murders in the Justice Secretary’s considerably long, defensive statement on the Homicide statistics.
The full report on Homicide statistics for the past year can be read online here : Statistical Release Crime and Justice Series: Homicide in Scotland, 2010-11. SLR’s report on Scotland’s sectarian crime statistics is HERE which were published in a vague format, after the historical figures showing much more detail including it is thought sectarian related murder cases, were deliberately destroyed by Crown Office officials on political orders.
The failure of Mr MacAskill and Scottish Police Forces to admit to any sectarian related homicide in Scotland in the past year is somewhat at odds with the feelings of communities & Police on the ground, where, as Scottish Law Reporter revealed earlier this week, at least SEVEN murders in the West of Scotland this year which have been well reported in the media and are generally accepted by many to be ‘religion related’. Yet there is no mention of any of this in the official statistics, on a day when the SNP controlled Scottish Government claims they are tackling sectarianism head on.
The Scottish Government’s Press Releases & Mr MacAskill’s statement :
Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Homicide in Scotland, 2010-11. The publication provides information on crimes of homicide as recorded by the police in Scotland in 2010-11.
The main findings are: In 2010-11, there were 95 homicide cases recorded by the police in Scotland, an increase of 19 per cent compared to 2009-10.
The 95 homicide cases recorded in 2010-11 resulted in the death of 97 victims, an increase of 18 per cent compared to the 82 victims that were recorded in 2009-10. This represented a rate of 19 victims per million population in Scotland, compared with 16 in 2009-10.
There were 77 male homicide victims in 2010-11, 79 per cent of the total number of victims recorded. The rate of male homicide victims (30 per million population) was more than 4 times the rate for female homicide victims (7 per million population).
Of the 95 homicide cases recorded in 2010-11, a total of 138 accused persons were identified. The majority (80 per cent ) of accused persons were male, with nearly half (45 per cent ) of all accused being males aged between 16 to 30 years.
The most common method of killing in the 10 year period covered by this statistical release was with a sharp instrument. In 2010-11, 61 homicide victims were killed by a sharp instrument, accounting for 63 per cent of all homicide victims recorded.
For 96 of the 97 homicide victims recorded in 2010-11, 1 or more accused persons had been identified. The police were able to establish what the relationship of the main accused was to 93 (97 per cent ) of these 96 victims. The main accused was known to 88 per cent of these 93 victims: 15 per cent of victims were presumed to have been killed by a partner or ex-partner, 16 per cent by a relative and 57 per cent by an acquaintance.
The alcohol and drug status was known for 97 (70 per cent ) of the 138 persons accused of homicide in 2010-11. Of these 97 accused, 79 per cent were reported to have been drunk and/or on drugs at the time the homicide was committed (53 per cent were drunk, 7 per cent were on drugs and 20 per cent were both drunk and on drugs). 21 per cent of accused persons were reported not to have been under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
Strathclyde police force area, which contained 43 per cent of the estimated population of Scotland in 2010, accounted for 64 per cent (61) of all homicide cases recorded in 2010-11, increasing from 55 per cent (44) of all cases in 2009-10.
Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. (with no political orientation, slant or bias whatsoever ! – Ed)
Booze & drugs appear to cause most homicides, and there are no religious or racially motivated murders according to ‘Higher Power’ MacAskill :
Alcohol-fuelled violence is costing lives, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said today as statistics showed 97 people were victims of murder last year, with the vast majority of those accused under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Mr MacAskill said: "Every single life lost is one too many and every murder is a horrific tragedy for families, loved ones and for communities. I take today's figures very seriously and can assure every man woman and child that this Government will continue to work tirelessly to make Scotland a safer place.
"Although the murder rate is down by 30 percent since 2004/05, last year saw a rise from 2009/10. The statistics speak for themselves - most murders are carried out indoors, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, by someone known to the victim. These senseless acts are usually carried out by men, under the influence of cheap booze and drugs.
"Police cannot patrol every home and every doorstep, but we can take steps to stop these dreadful crimes taking place. We have put 1,000 extra police in communities across Scotland and our streets are still safer, with overall crime at its lowest rate for 35 years.
"But these figures confirm what we already know - bargain basement booze can have a fatal price. We will not shirk from taking tough action on alcohol abuse and we cannot allow this mindless violence, which has devastating consequences for families and communities across Scotland, to continue.
"Scots drink more than any other part of the UK. In a society where a man's weekly alcohol limit can be bought for about £4, tackling price is nothing short of essential. Our alcohol minimum pricing Bill, which has the support of police, doctors and nurses, will end pocket money prices on cheap supermarket white ciders, lager and value spirits and save lives.
"We have invested a record £155 million in tackling alcohol misuse since 2008, introduced a ban on quantity discounts and promotions in off-sales have been restricted. Meanwhile our Alcohol Framework outlines more than 40 measures to help prevent problems in the first place and improve support and treatment for those already experiencing them.
"Today's figures also show that the vast majority of killings involving knives are carried out indoors by perpetrators under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and not on our streets.
"Let me be crystal clear - tackling knife crime is an absolute priority for this Government and Scotland's prosecutors and courts have my backing in using the full force of the law to punish anyone who carries or uses a knife.
"Tough enforcement backed by education is key to tackling knife crime. That is why just this week the Lord Advocate announced a zero tolerance crackdown on knife carrying in a pilot project targeting Scotland's town and city centres. It follows on from this summer's strengthened prosecution policy which will see even more of these offenders facing the toughest of sentences of up to four years in prison.
"Ending Scotland's knife culture is not going to be an easy task - every incident or life lost, as these tragic cases show, is one too many. However, we are working hard to tackle the problem across the country and there will be absolutely no let up in our efforts."