THE number of violent crimes recorded by police has shot up by almost a quarter in just one year.

In a report due to go to the Community Planning West Dunbartonshire management board this week, police say the number of “group one” crimes has risen by 23.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same time last year.

A group one crime is described as a “non-sexual violent crime”.

Between April and June this year, police in West Dunbartonshire logged 52 violent offences, compared to 42 in the same period in 2018.

In total, 30 of the crimes reported were serious assaults, which is a jump from just 23 the year before.

The report also shows 64 per cent of all serious assaults were committed by someone who was known to the victim, meaning roughly one third were random attacks.

As well as the spike in violent crimes, the amount of group one incidents which have been successfully detected by police has fallen.

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In this first quarter, just 63.5 per cent of crimes resulted in an arrest, compared to 78.6 per cent the year before.

In numerical terms, the number of crimes detected stayed the same, at 33, but the percentage decrease was due to crime rising.

The rate of detection for serious assaults also fell, from 73.9 per cent to 63.3 per cent, with the actual number of crimes committed also falling by two.

Gil Paterson, MSP for Clydebank, said: “The new domestic abuse legislation introduced earlier this year has had a significant upward effect on the number of reported violent crimes.

“An increase in reports is caused by this new legislation and, as a founding member of the very first Scottish Parliament cross-party group on men’s violence against women and children, I am pleased to see that the early indications show victims making use of this new legislation.

“Comparing this year’s figures with last year’s figures - when the new domestic abuse legislation was not in place – is like comparing apples and pears.

“We will need a few years’ worth of figures to see what the trend is.

“The police in West Dunbartonshire enjoy a high satisfaction rate among the public. They do a great job.”