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Statistics in more details

Summary: Gender and Crime and Justice

Risk of being a victim of crime
  • The risk of being a victim of any crime was slightly higher for men than for women. 15.6% of men had been the victim of at least one crime compared with 13.6% of women.

  • Men had a higher risk of being a victim of violent crime compared with women (3.5% and 1.8% respectively).

  • Young men (aged 16-24) had the highest risk of being a victim of any crime (23.6%). Young men also had the highest risk of violent crime (8.7%), and were over twice as likely to be a victim of violent crime than women of the same age (3.2%).

    Fear of Crime

  • Women were less likely than men to feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark (64% compared to 86% of men)

Source: Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014-15


Useful Links

Gender Page

Crime and Justice Page

Characteristics of offenders
  • In 74% of crime, where the victim was able to say something about the offender, the offender was a man compared with 15% of crimes where the offender was a woman and 10% where there was a group of both men and women offenders.


  • Men were more likely than women to be offenders in both property crime (69 % compared to 14%) and violent crime (77% compared to 16%).


  • Men were more likely to be the offender in violent crimes (77%) than for property crimes (69%)

Source: Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014-15

civil lawCivil Law
  • Overall, the gender split of applicants of civil legal aid in 2010-11 was 52% women and 48% men.


  • The split was similar for civil advice and assistance (53% women & 47% men). For ABWOR (assistance by way of representation) the split was different (34% women & 66% men). 


  • Approximately 80% of all criminal legal aid applicants are men, rising to 86% for Solemn matters.

This research has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government, the results are hosted on an external website and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers.

Source: Scottish Legal Aid Board, Single Equality Scheme: annual report 2011

Offenders and Prison Population
  • Males accounted for 83 per cent of all people convicted in but represented a higher proportion of all custodial sentences (91 per cent) totalling 12,548 men.

  • By contrast women accounted for 17 per cent of people convicted compared to a lower proportion for custodial sentences (9 per cent of custodial sentences).

Source:  Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2015-16                       


  • During 2011-12, the average daily prison population increased by 4% to 7,710 for men, while the women prison population increased by 8% to 468.
  • The women prison population has risen much faster than the men's rate over the past decade – 66% compared to 25%.

Source: Prison statistics and population projections Scotland: 2011-12


Reconviction Rates

  • Continuing a persistent long-term trend, males have higher reconviction rates and a higher average number of reconvictions per offender than females. The average number of reconvictions per offender for the 2014-15 cohort was 0.51 for males, and 0.44 for females. The reconviction rates were 29.2% for males and 23.4% for females.

Source: Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2014-15 Offender Cohort


 Domestic Abuse
  • Incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland with a female victim and a male perpetrator represented 79% of all incidents of domestic abuse in 2016-17 where gender information was recorded. Since 2007-08 this percentage share has fallen from 85%.

  • The proportion of incidents with a male victim and a female perpetrator (where gender was recorded) has increased from 13% in 2007-08 to 18% in 2016-17.

    Source: Domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland, 2016-17

criminal justice social workCriminal Justice Social Work
  • Approximately 57% of Diversion from Prosecution (DP) cases commencing in 2014-15 involved men – higher than in 2010-11 when only 52% were men.
  • A high proportion of DP cases in 2014-15 were for people aged 16 or 17 – almost 29 per cent were in this age group.

Source: Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics 2013-14

National Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes.

National Indicator number 30: Reduce reconviction rates, data table

- progress against this National Indicator, broken down by Age, can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading. The age data is found in the third tab of the data table file.

Publications and Outputs



Scottish Crime and Justice Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive.



Crime and Justice


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