Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Surprise, murders are up in Scotland (after seven – or is it ten – years of fall)

I’m feeling a little out of touch at the moment, as I have still to reconfigure my Firefox setup (in anticipation of the official Fx57 update due in November) to bring me my favourite local news pages (amongst others), and it just takes too much effort to go fetch them all by hand.

However, I did have this story fed just before the daily avalanche stopped for a while, and I got a rest.

Homicide figures increase in Scotland

It’s a pity that headline didn’t carry just a little more detail – intentionally or not,  giving the rise on its own it suggests a worrying trend.

When viewed in the context of seven years of falling numbers (which the article opened with), the increase becomes less alarming and more informative.

In fact, the increase given from the preceding period to 2016/17 was 6, from 58 to 64.

And, over the 10 year period, from 2007/08 to 2016/17, the number was reported to fall from 115 to 61.

(NO, I have no idea why the 2016/17 number changed from 64 to 61, or why the period given for reference changed from 7 years to 10. You’ll have to ask the BBC’s writer for those answers).

Kitchen Knife

The statistics given:

Homicides in Scotland 2016/17 – 64

  • Murders or culpable homicides
  • 67% of victims knew the accused
  • 48 victims were men
  • 47% of cases involved a sharp instrument
  • 1 person was shot

National Statistics

It was also noted that:

  • Twelve homicides took place in Glasgow during 2016/17 – 20% of the total
  • Three-quarters of homicide victims (48) were men
  • Three of last year’s homicide cases remained unsolved on 31 March
  • A sharp instrument was used to kill 47% (30) of victims – all but two of those involved a knife
  • One person was shot
  • In two thirds of cases (67%) the victim and the main accused knew each other
  • Of the 77 people accused of homicide, 22 were under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both

I’m slightly surprised to see only one person reported as being shot.

Living in the east end, it feels as if incidents involving shots being fired have been on the rise, but on reflection, not all have been confirmed, and many have been reports, or claims, that shots were fired not at a person, but at a building. I usually look at the news items expecting pics of broken windows or evidence of bullets hitting the building concerned, but so far no media report has shown this, nor have I seen it the buildings concerned – of which I pass too many for my own liking.


October 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Sad to say Glasgow has a problem, and the media have noticed

One of the more light-hearted themes I sometimes run in this Blog is ‘Missed me’, which generally features accident, or similar, sites I come across as I change the routes I walk. As I return to each route after a few weeks, it’s usually obvious that there’s been a crash or some sort of traumatic event where I would have been had I been on the ‘old’ route. At least two I can recall recently involved shots fired at houses, but at least most of those occurred at times when I’d have been nowhere near the scene even if had been on those routes.

But I also keep a list of incidents bookmarked if they happen on any of my routes, in case I’m stuck for something to write about. Thankfully, more normal items of interest keep that list unused, but in recent weeks it has become apparent that there’s been a real surge in violent incidents, and quite a number of stabbings.

Two recent events were close – too close! You’ll regularly find me in them, and at the times given.

And not even at dark’o’clock or in isolated places, but during the day in public places:

Man is stabbed in face at Cambuslang train station

Man stabbed in Glasgow’s Tollcross Park

Some might think something is going on.

Some do!

Apart from one or two people I worked with, I’ve never really knowingly been close to anyone from Glasgow’s underworld or organised criminal side. Although I’ve also come to realise (as a result of digging around for goodies for SeSco) that I’ve been a lot closer to them than I might have imagined.

But it’s not something I have any interest in, and deliberately steer clear of.

The media can take their chances with that, they at least get paid to do that.

It’s rather sad that we seem to be going back to Glasgow being a city that can generate headlines such as this, as seen in The Observer section of The Guardian:

Glasgow’s dark legacy returns as gangland feuds erupt in public killings

It’s s shame that we’ve come so far in improving the city over a number of years, only to be dragged back into the gutter in a matter of weeks.

It’s dangerous out there… Take this:

Police Support Unit

Police Support Unit

Inspired by:

Take This

Take This

July 23, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The island of Little Ross is up for sale

I’m always intrigued to see how often small islands around Scotland come up for sale – even more so when I think that I could maybe sell up everything (and I really mean EVERYTHING) and maybe have the one of the cheapest for myself.

Then stuff like ‘Cost of ownership’ and ‘Reality’ (not to mention ‘Eating’) start to appear – and I stop having such foolish thoughts.

Liken it to buying a second-hand (or even a new) Ferrari – you might get it home and enjoy looking at it, but for most ‘ordinary’ folk, the first year would probably ruin them with the various running costs if they actually drove it too. And don’t even think about the pain of any repair costs if warranty or insurance did not apply.

But back to the island.

On offer is the island of Little Ross, with offers over £325,000 being invited.

It will be interesting to see if it sells, as the trend has (for the ones I’ve eyed up, and the sale info has not been kept private) been for them to hang around for a while, not sell for ages, or have their price dropped to help them along – or they do sell, but the details are held private, with hints that the price was not changed (much).

The lighthouse tower – which is not included in the sale – was designed and built by Alan Stevenson at the mouth of Kirkcudbright Bay to close the gap between other lighthouses at the Mull of Galloway and Southerness. and first lit in 1843.

It was manned until 1960.


Little Ross

Complete with history of murder

In this case, the island comes with an interesting history.

In 1960, the lighthouse keeper was killed by a colleague.

Keeper Hugh Clark was found dead on the island and his assistant Robert Dickson was later tried and found guilty of his murder.


Keepers’ houses

The listing includes a six-bedroom, B-listed cottage and courtyard which is next to an operational lighthouse tower which is not part of the deal.

Via: Little Ross lighthouse island up for sale

It’s a bargain compared to a castle

Looking at recent news, I spotted a castle up for sale, for mere £3.75 million.

Admittedly, Glenborrodale Castle actually includes TWO isolated islands (Risga and Eilean an Feidh)along with its 16 bedrooms, not forgetting the tennis court, gym and sauna, commercial kitchen, games room, boat house with jetty, and of course, live-in accommodation for your staff.

But a look at recent castle sales and stories show they are just a liability, bringing annual maintenance bills which will (like the apparently desirable Ferrari mentioned at the start) soon cripple you financially.

But, if you have your own oil-well, or a Facecrook page, you might be interested…

Dream home: Highland castle goes on the market for £3.75m


July 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment


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