Violence has focused on the deprived over past ten years

Violence in Scotland is becoming more concentrated in the most deprived communities, a major report from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) reveals.

Violence is becoming concentrated in deprived communities.
Violence is becoming concentrated in deprived communities.

The Taking Stock of Violence in Scotland report from the SCCJR is the first time evidence covering the past decade has been compiled in one document.

And the study by researchers from the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Stirling has revealed people living in the poorest areas of Scotland are almost twice as likely to be the victims of violent crime.

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The research found people in the most deprived 15 per cent of areas in the country were significantly more likely to experience violence than people living elsewhere.

The report not only highlights key trends and patterns of known violence, but also shows what areas are under-researched.

Gender-based violence and hate crime were identified as lacking research.

One of the key trends is “violence victimisation” – where people in the most marginalised areas and vulnerable groups appear to be worse off than others when crime rates drop.

The report said the definition of gender-based violence needed to be expanded. It recommends including family member relationships such as the role mothers-in-law can play in supporting and perpetrating abuse, which tends to be under-reported, based on a study of south Asian women in Scotland.

Research by Nughmana Mirza entitled Family Abuse in Scotland includes interviewees saying abuse in such circumstances can range from indirect acts, such as being forced to overwork and taking control of marital relations, to direct acts such as physical and verbal abuse and isolation, made worse by possible fears over immigration status.

Lead author of the SCCJR report, Dr Susan Batchelor, a senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow, said: “In terms of patterns and trends, it seems that violence in Scotland – or violence victimisation – is becoming more concentrated in the most deprived communities and amongst particular groups of repeat violent victims.” Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I welcome the findings of this research, which we commissioned to better understand the pervasive nature of violence and help inform our approach to tackling that.

“While violent crime has fallen significantly over the last decade, the Scottish Government is clear about the need for a collective approach to address the changing nature of violence.

“We continue to work closely with Police Scotland, the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Medics Against Violence and other health, education and third sector partners to strengthen our prevention work.”