THE number of serious crimes committed in Scotland has slightly increased in the first half of the year.

According to police figures, there were 3,345 “group one offences” committed in Scotland. The category of crime includes murder, serious assault and cruelty to children. This is up half a per cent on the same period last year.

Although the figures represent a tiny increase, it is the first time the numbers have risen in years. Violent crime peaked in 1991 and then fell steadily, before a sharp fall in 2001.

The figures were in papers presented at yesterday’s meeting with force watchdog the Scottish Police Authority.

Police Scotland say the increase is down to serious assaults, which were up by 269 (17.7 per cent).

The report goes on to say that Police Scotland consider “the overall rise in violent crime in 2015/16 (to not be) statistically significant at this time.”

Complaints of disorder and reports of anti-social behaviour, including those originating from members of the public, have fallen by 11.8 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively in comparison to the same period last year.

There was also a 5.3 per cent reduction in the number of domestic abuse incidents recorded within Scotland at the end of the second quarter compared to the same period in the previous year. Detection for such incidents rose by 1.2 per cent, to 83.1 per cent. lPolice Scotland also had to deal with another control room IT glitch yesterday, after a computer fault in Dundee left staff having to take details on bits of paper. Police insist the problem had no impact on 999 or 101 calls.

It came after police staff at the Bilston Glen control centre near Edinburgh were unable to take calls in the early hours of Tuesday.

At the Scottish Police Authority Board meeting, Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson said “a bit of kit went wrong”.