Justice Secretary comments on crime survey


Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill today commented on a new survey showing people's attitudes and experiences of crime in Scotland.

He said that, just a month after official statistics showed that recorded crime in Scotland is at its lowest level in nearly 30 years and with record numbers of police officers in communities, today's survey shows that Scots also now feel safer in their communities than in previous years.

The results are contained in this year's Scottish Crime and Justice Survey which details the perceptions and experiences of crime amongst 16,000 adults in Scotland.

The survey shows:

  • That there is a lower risk of being a victim of crime in Scotland compared to England and Wales
  • More people think the crime rate is decreasing in their local area compared with previous years
  • The majority of adults think that most crimes are not common in their local area and more people think this than in previous crime surveys
  • For most crimes there has been a decrease in the proportion of adults worrying that particular crimes might happen to them in their communities compared to previous years
  • That the 'crime victimisation rate' has fallen in Scotland by 0.9 per cent since the last survey. The target is a 2 per cent fall by 2011
  • 58 per cent of victims of violent crime in Scotland said the offender was under the influence of alcohol.

Speaking during a visit to Broomhouse in Edinburgh, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

"We are beginning to turn the corner in our battle against crime and antisocial behaviour in Scotland.

"Recorded crime is at its lowest level in nearly 30 years, we have a record number of police officers patrolling our streets, and it is encouraging to see that the majority of people in Scotland now feel safer in their communities than in previous years.

"We are working harder than ever before, tackling the booze and blade culture that still blights far too many communities, taking on the dealers who peddle misery and despair on the streets, and bringing down the Mr Bigs who pull the strings of serious and organised crime.

"And our Cashback for Communities scheme is using cash seized from crooks and reinvesting it back into the communities to give our youngsters exciting things to do, getting them off the streets and diverting them from entering into crime and antisocial behaviour.

"However, we can not and will not be complacent and much more still needs to be done if we are to end this country's damaging relationship with violence and alcohol.

"There will be no let up in this Government's efforts to drive down crime even further.

"We are doing everything we can to tackle the underlying causes of crime and disorder, such as drink, drugs and deprivation, as we deliver a safer and stronger Scotland."

The survey measures people's perceptions and experiences of crime in Scotland and is useful in helping us understand experiences of crime in Scotland. However, it does not include crimes such as murder and sexual offences, so it is important that it is taken together with other statistics like Record Crime to get the full picture.

The Scottish Government is tacking action to tackle the culture of alcohol misuse in Scotland.