Serious Violence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:03 pm on 15th May 2019.

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Photo of Gavin Newlands Gavin Newlands Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Sport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales) 4:03 pm, 15th May 2019

She is not here, but as the SNP spokesperson in this debate, I am not here to answer for the Labour Front Bench, to be perfectly honest. I shall move on from the issue of where Ministers and shadow Ministers are.

As I said, the public health model requires multi-sectoral co-operation. Violence is a complex issue that comes in many forms and encompasses, but is not limited to, verbal, physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Only by tackling the causes of violence, not just the symptoms, can we break the cycle of violence and reduce the impact that it has on individuals, their families, and all our communities.

The Scottish crime and justice survey shows, as of 26 March, a 46% fall between 2008-09 and 2017-18 in violent incidents experienced by adults in Scotland. Violent crime is rare, with just 2.3% of adults experiencing it in the latest year—down from 4.1% in 2008-09. Police-recorded non-sexual violent crime remains at one of its lowest levels since 1974. Emergency admissions to hospital due to assault have more than halved since 2006-07—down by 55%. Emergency admissions due to assault with a sharp object have also fallen substantially in that period, and the number of homicides has more than halved.

Those stats clearly highlight some fantastic progress on this hugely important issue, but it is not enough. Too many people, particularly young people, are still being admitted to hospital and still dying. We must do more; we cannot simply rest on our laurels.