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Fall in Offensive Weapon Convictions

A new report has revealed that crimes of handling of offensive weapons fell by more than two thirds in Scotland over the last decade. 

In addition, there have been fewer convictions for handling offensive weapons and a fall in the number of emergency hospital admissions due to assault with a sharp object over the same period.

Other key findings of the Recorded Crime in Scotland: Handling Offensive Weapons report include:

  • The majority of criminal acts committed with a weapon against a person in a public setting involved no physical injury to the victim (71%).
  • The most common criminal act committed with a weapon in a public setting was threatening or abusive behaviour (44%), followed by common assault (32%) and serious assault (14%).
  • The majority of crimes of handling an offensive weapon in a public setting were committed by males (89%).
  • Certain individuals, such as teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s are more likely to either commit or be the victim of these crimes than would be expected compared to their population share.
  • A quarter (25%) of crimes where the weapon was not used in other criminal activity, i.e. to threaten an individual, made reference to alcohol. This figure was slightly higher (31%) when the weapon was used in other criminal activity.

“This research gives us additional insight into both the victims and perpetrators of weapons-based crime and the circumstances under which it takes place,” commented then Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson. “I want it to help inform our next steps in reducing violence in Scotland’s communities even further.”

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