Yes, apparently Scotland's murder rate is the fatest-rising in Western Europe and the sixth-fastest in the world, accoring to a new report by the United Nations.
Says the report:
The murder rate in Scotland stands at 2.1 deaths per 100,000 people, the joint highest in Western Europe with Finland and Portugal.
Between 2005 and 2006, the period covered by the report, the homicide rate increased from 1.59, a rise of 34 per cent.
The figures outstrip the murder rate in the Czech Republic and Portugal, both of which are plagued by knife crime and recorded a 30 per cent rise over the same period.
I'm not claiming that there isn't a problem - obviously there is but rather than violence itself being the problem, I think it's an effect of the real problem: poverty, lack of education, social injustice, and vunerable individuals existing on the periphery of society.
What I am claiming, however, is that these reports do little good and indeed, perpetuate the stereotype that Glasgow is a violent cesspool of civilization. And yet, wasn't Glasgow just named one of the best cities in the world? So when we're not stabbing one another, we're busy being one of the most cultural, vibrant and exciting cities in the world?
I'd also point out that Glasgow is up there with Finland - a notoriously liberal country that ranks third in the World Democracy Audit. Meanwhile in Toronto, there were 69 murders in 2008 and 336 shootings - just sayin'.