Calls for urgent inquiry after a surge in deaths on Scottish roads
Road casualties in Scotland have fallen to their lowest level since records began in 1950 but deaths in road accidents have risen, new figures show. New Transport Scotland statistics indicate 191 people died on Scotland’s road in 2016, 23 more than in 2015, a 14% increase. The total number of casualties fell by 1% between 2015 and 2016 from 10,973 to 10,901, the lowest number in 66 years. Those seriously injured in crashes rose by 6% to 1,697 in the same period while the number of people slightly injured fell 2% to 9,013.
Knife crime drama The Balisong changes attitudes among pupils
A play touring schools across Scotland has been credited with producing an “instant behaviour change” in pupils regarding attitudes to knife crime. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson attended a performance of The Balisong – named after the Filipino word for a butterfly knife – at Ardrossan Academy. The play focuses on three teenagers discussing the circumstances leading to their friend stabbing someone and whether they could have done more to prevent it.
Concern over 80 per cent rise of firefighters off with stress
The number of staff at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service off work with stress rose nearly 80 per cent in a year. Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives show 137 firefighters and support staff took sick leave citing stress in 2016, up from 77 the previous year. The SFRS said low figures for 2013 (fewer than ten) and 2014 (27) were not comparable due to the way absences were recorded prior to the creation of the single service. Scotland’s eight regional fire brigades were merged in 2013 at the same time as the creation of Police Scotland. According to the figures – obtained using Freedom of Information legislation – 123 workers have been signed off this year as of mid-September.