Scottish Violence Reduction Unit


Commenting on the latest ‘Recorded Crime in Scotland 2019 – 20’ figures, Will Linden, the Deputy Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, said:

“Scotland has made real progress in reducing the violence infecting our communities with a 42% reduction in non-sexual crimes of violence since 2002-03. These latest figures show further progress with a 5%* decrease overall in non-sexual crimes of violence and a 6% reduction in serious assaults and attempted murders between 2018-19 and 2019-20.

“However, these figures are a reminder that constant vigilance and effort is needed to keep our communities safe. Any reported increase in weapons carrying must be taken seriously. While we have seen big decreases in young people carrying knives, they are still one of the groups most at risk of this behaviour. We will look closely at the data to discover any possible trends that may be developing, but crucially we must redouble our efforts with those most at risk of becoming involved in a violent lifestyle.

“For the first time figures have also been included under Scotland’s new domestic abuse laws with 1,681 offences recorded. These figures shine a light on the coercive and controlling behaviour which once may have gone unseen. Understanding the scale of the problem is crucial to being able to support each person whose life has been affected and ultimately preventing such crimes being committed.

“There is nothing inevitable about violence in any form and working together across our communities we can save lives and stop harm. Violence is preventable.”

* Non-sexual crimes of violence increased from 8,008 to 9,316. This increase has been attributed to the recording of 1,681 new crimes under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018. All other non-sexual crimes of violence decreased overall by 5%.

The full report can be found here

Niven Rennie


Telephone: 01786 896785          Email:

Niven has more than 30 years of operational policing experience in the United Kingdom. He joined Strathclyde Police in 1985 serving throughout the west of Scotland in a variety of ranks and positions before progressing to the rank of Chief Superintendent. Niven previously held the role of President of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents where he represented the interests of the operational leaders of policing in Scotland.

On leaving Police Scotland in 2016 Niven took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of South Ayrshire Escape from Homelessness (SeAscape).

Niven was appointed director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit in July 2018.