Online Program

Weapons offences in the West of Scotland 2005-2014 and their temporal relationship to violence prevention initiatives

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dr Christine Goodall, BDS (Hons), BSc (Hons), FHEA, FDS (OS) RCPSGlasg, Hon MFPH, PhD, Medical School, College of MVLS, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Colin Atkinson, MA (Hons), MPhil, MSc, MLitt, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Will Linden, BSc, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Karyn McCluskey, R.G.N, B.Sc(Hons), M.Sc Inv Psych, FFPH, D.Univ, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Background. Recorded crime figures show a marked reduction in interpersonal violence in Scotland over the past 8 years. The West of Scotland has traditionally had issues with knife crime, particularly among young men. Several violence prevention initiatives in education, health and criminal justice have attempted to address this issue in recent years.

Methods. Crime reports from 2005-2014 from the former Strathclyde Police Force area, covering much of the West of Scotland, were examined and incidences of weapons offences noted.  Changes in the incidence of knife related offences and in the profile of the offenders committing those offences were determined. This was then related to the introduction of various violence prevention initiatives.

Results. Between 2005-2014 there were a total of 45881 weapons offences, 18531 of which involved a knife.  The number of weapons offences recorded annually fell from 5724 in 2005 to 2310 in 2014. The average age of offenders in relation to knife offences increased from 24.43 in 2005 to 29.02 in 2014. Young people aged 10-19 accounted for 41.2% of arrests for weapons offences in 2005 while in 2014 they accounted for just 23.9%. During this time period there was considerable investment in activities to reduce violence in Scotland.

Conclusions. Knife crime in the West of Scotland has reduced significantly over the past ten years and the age profile of the typical offender has increased. Young people, who may have benefitted from increased exposure to violence prevention initiatives, are less frequently represented in crime reports relating to weapons offences.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the demographics of weapons offences and related facial injuries in Scotland Discuss the relationship of the changing pattern of weapons offences in Scotland to violence prevention initiatives

Keyword(s): Youth Violence, Criminal Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a senior academic with a research interest in alcohol and violence. I have published in in both of these areas. I have experience of carrying out epidemiological research involving large datasets in relation to injury and have been responsible for the design and implementation of violence prevention initiatives in Scotland.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.