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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 08:11 GMT
Police hail murder rate fall
Strathclyde Police HQ
Murders fell by more than a quarter, according to a report
Murders and attempted murders have fallen to their lowest level in Scotland's largest police area for five years, according to new figures.

Strathclyde Police said that in the force area - which stretches from Ayrshire to Argyll - the number of reported murders fell from 86 to 53 (36.1%) in the past year.

In the same period the number of reported attempted murders fell from 372 to 277, a fall of 25.5%.

Levels of violent crime had also dropped by 7.8% since February 2000.

Sir John Orr, Strathclyde Police Chief Constable
Sir John Orr: Spotlight has addressed concerns
Police attributed the reductions to the ongoing "Spotlight on Safer Streets" initiative and said that the rate of murders and attempted murders were at their lowest level for five years.

Chief Constable Sir John Orr welcomed the figures, saying: "I am confident that we will not only halt the rise of violent crime but also start to force it down.

"Since I announced its inception in October 1996, the award winning Spotlight initiative has been recognised world-wide as a prime example of effective and pro-active policing which tackles those areas of crime which the public identify as being of greatest concern to them.

"Violent crime and the fear of crime are sources of great concern to every law-abiding citizen in our community."

He added: "The Spotlight on Safer Streets has addressed those concerns and, as a direct result, violent crime has fallen and several thousand potentially lethal weapons have been removed from our streets."

Other figures released by the force show:

  • a fall of 0.8% in serious assaults

  • robberies down by 13.2%

  • a decrease of 15.8% in the number of abductions

  • 5,228 weapons seized, of which 2,299 were knives

  • 185,379 males and 13,957 females were stopped and searched by police in 2000/01.

Councillor Bashir Maan, the convener of Strathclyde Joint Police Board, said: "I would wish to congratulate the chief constable and his staff for the significant contribution that this initiative has made towards making our communities safer."

The Spotlight campaign has been supported with a television advert underpinning the message that carrying an offensive weapon can result in imprisonment.

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See also:

07 Jun 00 | Scotland
Sharp rise in knife crime
30 Apr 00 | Scotland
Arrests during weapons purge
21 Feb 00 | Scotland
Police step up knives campaign
03 Mar 00 | Scotland
Scotland tops murder league
05 Feb 00 | Scotland
Police target knife carriers
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