SEXUAL offence rates in Glasgow have dropped by 22.5 per cent in the last nine months of 2019, latest police figures show.

Attempted murder rates also fell in the Greater Glasgow division and there were two fewer homicides year-on-year.

But while housebreakings were also on the decline in the police division, total weapons offences have increased from 1,031 to 1,232 in April to December.

Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren, commander of Greater Glasgow Division, said: “Homicides are down, attempted murder is down and sexual crimes are down from April to December last year.

“Local officers are working with partners to reduce crime and make Glasgow safe. Where specific crimes like fire-raising and vandalism have increased, my local policing teams will continue to target these.

“Rises in recorded crime can reflect an increase in our communities’ confidence in coming forward to report crime and I really welcome that.”

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The Chief Superintendent also praised the use of third-party reporting, with victims using alternative routes like teachers or voluntary groups to report crime – rather than having to go directly to an officer.

She added: “I want the overall picture to be that Glasgow is safe and that we’re working to reduce crime to make Glasgow safe.

“For me, as we move towards a busy year with the Euro 2020s and the climate conference, it’s important we establish confidence within the city – a city of choice for venues and events.

“It’s a successful city and I want people to have a confidence in the police – we’re working with others to drive down crime and make the city as safe as it can be.

“When people see a reduction in crime figures they do possibly feel safer – the fact we can say crime is down has got to be regarded as a positive.

“Glasgow’s reputation has really changed.”

The report also revealed 80 more crimes of fire-raising have been recorded since April last year and there has been an increase in the number of sexual crimes specifically recorded under the Communications Act 2003.

“When it comes to things like anti-social behaviour, people are now more common to call the police and report it because it’s not accepted in society, the Chief Superintendent added.

“People don’t want to see it. I’m happy to have a true reflection of a crime that is happening and that people are reporting it.

“And now we’re seeing those figures, it’s our job to work on it – I’ve already met with our partners at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to see what can be done in terms of prevention and education.”

The number of sexual crimes recorded in the division fell from 837 to 648 in the nine months to December 31, 2019, when compared to the same period last year.

Greater Glasgow’s figures come as Police Scotland published its 2019-20 Quarter 3 Performance Report which revealed that there have been 1,313 crimes recorded against the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

Introduced on April 1, 2019, the new Act criminalises the coercive and controlling behaviours used by domestic abusers, creating a single offence which covers the full range of abusive behaviours whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual.

Commenting on the law, the Chief Superintendent added: “It’s still early days as we look towards court cases and convictions but very positive that people feel they can report these crimes.

“If we see that increase in figures we can’t think it is a negative – it’s the victims are coming forward and it’s our job to detect offenders and report it through the Procurator Fiscal.”