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Recorded Crime in Scotland 2012-13

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5. Commentary: Recorded crimes and offences by police force

This section provides commentary on the published figures by police force area.

Chart 4: Total number of crimes recorded per 10,000 population1 in 2012-13 by police force area

Total number of crimes recorded per 10,000 population1 in 2012-13 by police force area

1. Population estimates are as at mid-year 2011 from the National Records of Scotland. The mid-year 2012 population estimates, as well as revised mid-year 2011 population estimates, are scheduled for publication in August 2013. (http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/population/estimates/mid-year/index.html)

Chart 4 shows that the number of crimes recorded per 10,000 population is higher in police forces which contain large cities, such as Strathclyde and Lothian and Borders, and lower in police force areas which are primarily rural such as Dumfries and Galloway, and Northern.

5.1 Central Scotland Police

The total number of crimes recorded by Central Scotland Police decreased by 14% between 2011-12 and 2012-13 to 14,056. Decreases were recorded in all of the five crime groups, ranging from a 1% decrease in other crimes, to a 22% decrease in Fire-raising, vandalism etc.

The number of offences recorded in Central increased by 13% between
2011-12 and 2012-13. The increase in offences was driven by a 57% increase in speeding offences. Central Scotland Police has the second highest rate of offences in Scotland at 1,400 per 10,000 population. This was driven by the high number of Motor vehicle offences, 1,065 per 10,000 population.

Clear up rates for all crime groups were above or the same as the corresponding figure for Scotland. For four of the five crime groups, the clear up rate recorded by Central Scotland Police increased between 2011-12 and 2012-13, with the exception of Other crimes, where the clear up rate remained the same as 2011-12 at 98%. The largest increase was 4 percentage points reported for Non-sexual crimes of violence.

5.2 Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary

Crimes recorded by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary decreased for the eighth year in succession and overall by 11% since 2011-12 to total 5,350. There were decreases in all crime and offence groups ranging from a 6% decrease in Other crimes to a 23% decrease in Fire-raising, vandalism etc. It should be noted that as Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary is the smallest police force, the actual number of crimes recorded is small in comparison to larger forces such as Strathclyde Police or Lothian and Borders Police.

There was a decrease of 7% in offences recorded by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary. The decrease in the number of Miscellaneous offences was driven by a 16% decrease in common assault while the decrease in motor vehicle offences was recorded was driven by a 12% decrease in Speeding offences.

The overall clear up rate for crimes in Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary was 72%, 21 percentage points higher than the Scotland total and the highest rate of all eight police forces. The clear up rates for Crimes of dishonesty (58%) and Fire-raising, vandalism etc. (57%) were the highest rates recorded across all forces in 2012-13, with for Sexual offences joint highest with Fife, at 80%.

5.3 Fife Constabulary

The number of crimes recorded by Fife Constabulary decreased for the eighth consecutive year and overall by 15% between 2011-12 and 2012-13 to total 15,230. There were decreases across all crime groups with the exception of Sexual Offences, which decreased by only 2 crimes.

There was a decrease of 11% in the number of offences recorded by Fife Constabulary. Within offences there was a decrease of 8% in the number of Miscellaneous offences recorded and a decrease of 12% in the number of Motor vehicle offences. The decrease in Miscellaneous offences was largely a result of a 13% decrease in Common assault, while the decrease in Motor vehicle offences was driven by a 12% decrease in Speeding offences.

The overall clear up rate for crime in Fife Constabulary was 65%. The clear up rates increased in two of the five crime groups; Crimes of dishonesty increased by 6 percentage points (57%) and Fire-raising, vandalism etc., increased by 4 percentage points (48%), between 2011-12 and 2012-13. The biggest decrease in the clear up rates in Fife Constabulary was for Non-sexual crimes of violence, which decreased by 8 percentage points to 89%.

5.4 Grampian Police

The number of recorded crimes in the Grampian Police force area decreased by 12% between 2011-12 and 2012-13, to total 25,866 crimes. Decreases were recorded in all five crime groups between 2011-12 and 2012-13, with the Non-sexual crimes of violence group decreasing by 20%. The smallest decrease was in Sexual offences, with the number of crimes decreasing by 6% between 2011-12 and 2012-13.

The total number of offences recorded by Grampian Police decreased by 8%, from 52,381 in 2011-12 to 48,211 in 2012-13. The decrease was driven by an 11% decrease in Motor vehicle offences.

The overall crime clear up rate for Grampian Police decreased by 3 percentage points between 2011-12 and 2012-13, giving Grampian the second lowest clear up rate in Scotland, at 45%. The clear up rates for all crime groups decreased. The biggest decrease was in Non-sexual crimes of violence (7 percentage points), followed by Crimes of dishonesty (5 percentage points). Sexual offences and Other crimes, each decreased by 1 percentage point, while Fire-raising, vandalism etc. remained the same as in 2011-12, at 30%,

5.5 Lothian & Borders Police

Recorded crime in the Lothian and Borders Police force area decreased by 13% in 2012-13. The number of crimes decreased from 57,471 in 2011-12 to 49,789 in 2012-13. Decreases were reported in all of the five crime groups. The largest decreases were seen in Fire-raising, vandalism etc. where the decrease was 24%, and in Non-sexual crimes of violence where the decrease was 20%

The number of offences recorded by Lothian and Borders Police decreased by 10% between 2011-12 and 2012-13. Within the two offence groups, Miscellaneous offences decreased by 4% while Motor vehicle offences decreased by 13%. There was an increase in Breach of the peace etc. of 4% but this was more than offset by a decrease of 9% in the number of Common assaults which decreased from 10,787 in 2011-12 to 9,862 in 2012-13.

The overall clear up rate for crimes for Lothian and Borders Police was 44% in 2012-13, the same as in 2011-12 and 7 percentage points lower than the Scotland figure. This is the lowest clear up rate among any of the forces in Scotland. The clear up rate increased for Non-sexual offences of violence by 2 percentage points to stand at 70%. However, this is the lowest clear up rate in Scotland for this crime group. The clear up rate for Sexual offences decreased by 4 percentage points to 62% and Fire-raising, vandalism etc. and other crimes each decreased by 2 percentage points.

5.6 Northern Constabulary

The number of crimes recorded by Northern Constabulary decreased by 16%, from 13,556 in 2011-12 to 11,355 in 2012-13. Northern Constabulary reported decreases in four of the five crime groups, the largest being a 21% decrease in Fire-raising, vandalism etc. There was a 33% increase in the number of Sexual offences recorded, from 355 in 2011-12 to 471 in 2012-13.

There was a 4% increase in the number of offences recorded by Northern Constabulary in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12. Miscellaneous offences decreased by 6% while Motor vehicle offences increased by 9%. Within Miscellaneous offences, there was a decrease of 9% in the Common assaults and a 7% decrease in Other miscellaneous offences. The increase in Motor vehicle offences was driven by a 16% increase in Speeding offences.

The overall clear up rate for crimes in Northern Constabulary was 68%, 17 percentage points higher than Scotland and the second highest of the eight police forces. The clear up rates increased for three of the five crime groups in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12. The clear up rate for Non-sexual crimes of violence, Crimes of dishonesty and Fire-raising, vandalism etc. each increased by 1 percentage point. The clear up rate for Other crimes decreased by 1 percentage point to stand at 99%. The clear up rate for Sexual offences decreased by 5 percentage points to 76%. However, this still stands 8 percentage points higher than the Scotland total.

5.7 Strathclyde Police

The number of crimes recorded by Strathclyde Police Force decreased by 14% between 2011-12 and 2012-13, to total 133,601. There were decreases in four of the five crime groups; Non-sexual crimes of violence decreased by 24%, Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 23% and Crimes of dishonesty decreased by 14%. The number of Sexual offences increased by 13% between 2011-12 and 2012-13.

The total number of offences recorded by Strathclyde Police increased from 270,176 in 2011-12 to 283,636 in 2012-13, an increase of 5%. Miscellaneous offences decreased by 2% while Motor vehicle offences increased by 11%. The 11% increase was driven by an 11% increase in Speeding offences and a 14% increase in Other motor vehicle offences.

The clear up rates for three of the five crimes groups are lower for Strathclyde Police than the Scotland figure, except for Sexual offences (68%) and Other crimes (98%) where they are the same as the Scotland total. In 2012-13, the clear up rates for four of the five groups increased while the rate for Other crimes remained the same as in 2011-12. The clear up rates for Non-sexual crimes of violence increased by 6 percentage points, Sexual offences and Fire-raising, vandalism etc. both increased by 3 percentage points and Crimes of dishonesty increased by 2 percentage points. The clear up rate for Non-sexual crimes of violence was 77%, which is the highest rate in over a decade.

In addition, the clear up rate for Miscellaneous offences also increased by 3 percentage points in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12.

5.8 Tayside Police

The number of crimes recorded by Tayside Police Force decreased for the eighth consecutive year and overall by 6% between 2011-12 and 2012-13 to total 17,806. The 6% decrease was the smallest reported among the eight police forces. There were decreases in four of the five crime groups in 2012-13. Non-sexual crimes of violence decreased by 19%, Other crimes decreased by 16%, Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 8% and Crimes of dishonesty decreased by 1%, The only crime group to report an increase was Sexual offences, where the increase was 7%.

The number of offences recorded by Tayside Police decreased by 6% compared with 2011-12. The number of Miscellaneous offences decreased by 8% and there was a 5% decrease in the number of Motor vehicle offences. The decrease in Miscellaneous offences was due to a 15% decrease in Breach of the peace etc. offences.

In 2012-13, Tayside Police recorded increases in the clear up rates for two of the five crime groups compared with 2011-12. The clear up rate for Non-sexual crimes of violence and Sexual offences each increased by 3 percentage points. The clear up rate for Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 5 percentage points, while the rate for Other crimes decreased by 1 percentage point. The clear up rate for Crimes of dishonesty remained the same as in 2011-12. Clear up rates for all crime groups were above or the same as the corresponding Scotland figure, with the overall crime clear up rate 4 percentage points higher than the Scotland figure.

Chart 5: Number of domestic housebreaking1 crimes recorded by the police per 10,000 population2 in 2012-13

Number of domestic housebreaking1 crimes recorded by the police per 10,000 population2 in 2012-13

1. Includes dwellings and non-dwellings only.

2. Population estimates are as at mid-year 2011 from the National Records of Scotland. The mid-year 2012 population estimates, as well as revised mid-year 2011 population estimates, are scheduled for publication in August 2013. (http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/population/estimates/mid-year/index.html)