NICOLA Sturgeon has hinted she will support changing upcoming legislation to make it an automatic offence for criminals to breach an electronic tagging order.

The First Minister was quizzed by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who called on her to "show victims their rights come before criminals for once".

Ms Davidson said proposals contained in the new Management of Offenders Bill meant it would not be an immediate offence for a criminal to cut off their tag if they have been released on home detention curfew.

She said: "The First Minister is proposing to release more criminals back to communities, and under those plans a serious offender could be released from prison, could be given a tag, cut it off, breach the terms of their release and incredibly that wouldn't automatically be considered an offence.”

It comes a week after Ms Davidson called for the new legislation to be put on hold after father-of-three Craig McLelland was stabbed to death by James Wright while he was "unlawfully at large".

Responding during First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon pledged the Scottish Government would "properly consider any amendment" to the Bill, which is currently going through Holyrood.

She added: "I agree that where people breach any condition in which they are released into the community then the situation should be that they are returned to prison."

Ms Davidson welcomed the "soft hint", and pointed out the changes were also supported by Scottish Women's Aid.