SELF-HARMING in Scotland's prisons has almost doubled in the last four years, new figures show.

Figures released under freedom of Information laws showed that prisoners were recorded self-harming on 532 occasions in 2017 - the equivalent of about 10 incidents a week.

Incidents of self-harm increased from 27 in 2013 to 59 in 2017 in Cornton Vale, Scotland's only all-female prison.

In Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow the total went from seven to 20 over the same period, while staff at Edinburgh's Saughton Prison recorded 74 self-harm incidents last year, up from 26 in 2013.

In the new Grampian Prison in Peterhead there were 121 incidents of self-harm recorded in 2017, the highest number in any jail that year.

Overall self-harming in prisons increased from 277 recorded incidents in 2013 to 532 in 2017.

Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur called on ministers to do more to tackle the "troubling" rise in such incidents.

McArthur, whose party obtained the figures on self harm, said urgent reform of mental health care in Scotland's jails was now needed.

He stated: "The Scottish Prison Service have been active in improving the identification and recording of self-harm but it is still troubling to see the extent to which self-harm is taking place in Scotland's prisons.

"Prison staff are working incredibly hard to help people but they don't have the resources they need.

"I appeal to the Scottish Government to recognise the scale of the challenge that these figures represent. Alleviating poor mental health in our justice system would benefit both these individuals and the wider communities that they will return to."