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24 November 2017, 15:16
The number of murders and serious assaults reported to police in Scotland have fallen but sexual crimes have increased, new figures show.
The latest Police Scotland data reveals between April 1 and September 30 this year there were 26 murders - five fewer than the same period in 2016 - representing a 16% drop. Serious assaults fell 2% from 2,088 to 2,046.
Sexual crimes rose 6.1% to 5,961 from 5,569 in the same period year on year, which the force credited to increasing confidence among victims to report incidents.
Overall 126,954 crimes were recorded between April and September, 3.9% higher than the 122,088 recorded over the same six months in 2016.
Attempted murders rose from 115 to 122 - a 6% increase - while the number of robberies, including assaults with intent to rob, also increased from 712 to 817 - a 14.7% jump.
The number of homes broken into dropped 7.4% to 3,672 from 3,967.
Total crimes of dishonesty such as theft and housebreaking increased by 4.6% from 57,067 to 59,698 however.
Fatal road deaths fell by more than a quarter (28.9%) from 107 to 76.
Police said the statistics are "management information" and not official statistics but are "intended to address questions about current crime levels across the country".
Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: "This management information shows that through the dedication and professionalism of our officers and staff, working together with local communities and partners, we can see significant results in tackling crime across Scotland.
"The increase in reporting of sexual crimes is important in reflecting increased victim confidence. We encourage all victims to come forward to allow us to put in place necessary support with our partners whilst we carry out thorough investigations.
"It is also good to see the significant fall in housebreaking across the country. This crime can be devastating for victims and through a range of initiatives and public awareness campaigns we have seen real results in prevention and reduction.
"We also continue to work with our partners on education and enforcement activities to make our roads safer, which has resulted in a welcome reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured."