Key Points from Recorded Crime in Scotland
This bulletin presents National Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in 2019-20. Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police provide a measure of the volume of criminal activity with which the police are faced. Crimes recorded by the police do not reveal the incidence of all crime committed since not all crimes are reported to the police. For a definition of crimes recorded, refer to Annex 1.
Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, crimes recorded by the police in Scotland remained almost unchanged, increasing by less than 1% from 246,480 to 246,516. The 2019-20 figures include 1,681 new crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, following its enactment on the 1st April 2019. A further 107 new crimes were recorded towards the end of 2019-20 under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulation 2020. The recording of crime remains at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974.
Other changes between 2018-19 and 2019-20:
- Non-sexual crimes of violence increased by 16%, from 8,008 to 9,316. This increase is due to the recording of 1,681 new crimes under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, following its enactment on the 1st April 2019. All other non-sexual crimes of violence collectively decreased by 5%.
- Sexual crimes decreased by 1% from 13,547 to 13,364. This is the first year since 2008-09 where sexual crimes haven’t increased, though these crimes remain at the second highest level seen since 1971, the first year for which comparable groups are available.
- Crimes of dishonesty decreased by 3%, from 114,506 to 111,409. The recording of these crimes is at the lowest level seen since 1971.
- Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 1% from 47,997 to 47,731. The recording of these crimes is at the lowest level seen since 1976.
- Other crimes increased by 3% from 62,422 to 64,589. Most of these crimes relate to drug possession, crimes against public justice or handling offensive weapons.
Offences recorded by the police in Scotland increased by 1% from 247,791 to 250,662.
- Miscellaneous offences decreased by 1%, from 130,686 to 128,755.
- Motor vehicle offences increased by 4% from 117,105 to 121,907.