SCOTLAND is the assault capital of the world, according to a terrifying new United Nations report.
People living here are more likely to be the victim of a brutal physical attack than anywhere else on earth.
Scotland’s shameful toll is even worse than in Honduras previously dubbed the most dangerous place in the world and drug-ravaged countries such as Mexico, Colombia and El Salvador.
It also dwarfs nations of similar sizes such as Ireland, Denmark and Norway.
Politicians and campaigners last night blasted the figure saying it sent out the “worst possible image of Scotland”.
The survey, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, found Scotland led the globe in terms of the number of attacks that resulted in “serious bodily injury”.
Nearly 1,200 per 100,000 people were assaulted in 2013.
The figure is more than double the rate in England and Wales (564) and seven times the average in the rest of the world (165).
Second in the table was Sweden (840) followed by Guyana with 813, Cabo Verde (804) and Finland (654).
Honduras recorded just 21 assaults per 100,000 of the population while Colombia logged a figure of 172.
Scottish Conservative justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said: “The revelation that Scots face the highest chance of being assaulted sends out the worst possible image of Scotland.
“The SNP Government can’t dismiss this study’s findings by saying the increase is down to an improvement on the number of assaults being detected.
“It needs to address this issue now to provide the assurance that Scotland is a safe place to live and visit.
“This is the very least both Scottish people and visitors to the country are entitled to expect.”Families living in fear as Scotland suffers a burglary blitz – click here to read moreScotland also recorded the fourth highest rate of sexual violence in 2013 and seventh highest rate of kidnapping.
Critics have linked casual violence to Scotland’s culture of alcohol abuse.
However, Scottish Government plans to introduce a 50p-per-unit minimum alcohol price which could help curb violent behaviour last week hit a legal snag.
A top European court lawyer said its plans for minimum pricing risked infringing the EU’s free trade rules.
Victims’ group Petal Support which was set up in the aftermath of Amanda Duffy’s murder in 1992 and which has been campaigning relentlessly against knife crime and serious assault for 21 years said the figures were “startling”.
Chairperson Lesley Carmoday said: “We are saddened by these UN figures.
“We shall continue our pursuit of reducing the startling statistic relating to assault.”
The UN research looked at more than 80 countries around the world including rich and poor nations in North and South America, Africa and Asia.
However, the Scottish Government disputed the report’s findings.
A spokesman said: “It is wrong to make cross-country comparisons using these statistics because of the different ways offences are defined, and the different methods of counting and recording crimes and offences, across the world.
“For example the Scottish figures submitted relating to sexual violence and assaults cover a wider definition of crimes than those defined by the UN.
“Recorded crime in Scotland is at a 40-year low and we have seen huge falls in reports of a number of crimes over the last 10 years including homicide, violent crime which is down 10% in the last year alone and crimes involving offensive weapons.
“Since the establishment of Police Scotland, a national rape task force and dedicated investigation units have been created to improve the investigation of rape and other sexual offences.”
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said it would be “inaccurate” to compare assault rates in Scotland to those logged in England and Wales.New breed of cunning car thieves can steal and ship your vehicle across the globe in just SIX HOURS – click here to read more