New statistics, published by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), have shown that violent crime is up 15% in the Lothian and Borders force area.
In 2010/11 there were 2,030 recorded incidents of violent crime, a category which includes murder, serious assault and cruelty to children. We need to look behind these statistics to the human tragedy that violent crimes inflicts on victims, their families and the wider community.
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.
People locally want to know that their streets are safe and we need assurance from the police that high visibility patrols are being targeted to problem areas and that deterrents such as CCTV and improved lighting are being used to their full effect.