Violent crime figures soar for Lothians

VIOLENT crime rose by 15 per cent in Lothian and Borders over the last year, more than in any other part of Scotland.

A report by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland said: "The general direction of travel for the number of crimes of violence recorded in Scotland is reducing with the exception of Lothian and Borders."

It highlighted the "exceptionally high" number of murder cases this year - 20 in total and twice the average.

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According to provisional figures, the number of recorded crimes of violence was 2030 in the period for the force, compared with 1763 in the previous year.

Lothians Labour MSP Sarah Boyack said the statistics were worrying. She said: "These figures should be a wake-up call for the SNP government to get serious about tackling violent crime. Our police need the tools to do their jobs and we need a stronger voice for victims."