Kids as young as 8 referred for housebreaking

Hundreds of children, some as young as eight, have been reported for housebreaking in the last three years.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) have received 517 referrals since 2014/15 for under 18s.

Of those, 186 occurred last year, a figure that has remained much the same for the past three years.

At least one eight-year-old in both East Ayrshire and the Highlands was referred for breaking into someone’s house, as well as at least three children aged nine and seven aged 10.

Ambulances forced to attend thousands of drink-related emergencies

Ambulance crews were forced to attend more than 15,000 emergencies last year where alcohol was to blame, it has emerged.
Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed the number of incidents where drink was an “additional factor” increased from 2016.
In total, there have been 53,141 alcohol-related incidents in the past three years, the equivalent of nearly 50 a day.
The Freedom of Information response showed Glasgow had the highest number of instances in 2017, with a total of 3783.
That was followed by Edinburgh with 1674 and North Lanarkshire with 1279.

Scottish Crime Survey reveals increasing violent crime

The Scottish Crime Survey, published today, has identified increasing violence and exposes the fact nearly two-thirds of crime goes unreported.

Specifically, 712,000 crimes were experienced by adults in Scotland which has not changed since 2014, despite previous decreases.

There were an estimated 231,000 violent crimes in 2016/17, an increase of 45,000 since 2014, with victimisation rates higher among 16-24 year olds and people in deprived areas.

SNP has no idea how much the new benefits system will cost

The SNP has been criticised by the country’s public spending watchdog for failing to work out the cost of implementing newly devolved benefits systems.

In a report to be published tomorrow, Audit Scotland said ministers should publish the projected costs of the new Scotland Act powers, a warning it also issued to the SNP last year.

The UK Government has already handed Holyrood £200 million to bring in the new social security powers.

But auditors said it will cost “much more than £200 million to implement all these powers”, and that additional costs would have to come from the overall Scottish budget.

SNP must ditch ‘disastrous’ BTP merger once and for all

The Scottish Conservatives are calling on the SNP Government to use the 5th anniversary of Police Scotland this week to ditch their “disastrous” plan to merge the British Transport Police with the national force once and for all.
The proposals to merge BTP with Police Scotland are now being described by academics as a “threat to policing” on both sides of the border.
The Scottish Conservatives are therefore urging Ministers to adopt a compromise proposal, set out by the British Transport Police Federation.

Scottish Labour must condemn anti-Semitism

Scottish Labour are being pressured to end their silence on Jeremy Corbyn’s uncritical view on anti-Semitism.

It comes after the Labour leader supported a graffiti artist in 2012 over the removal of a mural which contained commonly associated anti-Semitic depictions of Jewish people

It is not the first time that the Labour party has become embroiled in controversy regarding anti-Semitic views under Corbyn’s leadership.

SNP's teacher shortage hampering attainment gap drive

The SNP will never close Scotland’s education attainment gap while schools are short of teachers, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Leader Ruth Davidson pointed to more than 500 vacancies in secondary school training places which are hampering efforts to help children from poorer areas.

It follows analysis which reveals huge gulfs in performance in schools depending on where they’re based.

At First Minister’s Questions today, Ruth said in schools where the vast majority of youngsters were from deprived areas, just 15 per cent achieved five Highers or more.

Increased pay for NHS workers

Using the funds that the Chancellor allocated at the Budget, we've set out proposals that will see wage rises of between 6.5 per cent and 29 per cent for over 1.1 million NHS workers in England

Ruth reacts to Brexit deal on fishing

Ruth Davidson has reacted to today’s agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The Scottish Conservative leader said she would not support a deal which fails to deliver the long-term aims of Scotland’s fishing industry.