Crimes recorded by the police
In May 2020, the police recorded 20,587 crimes. This is 5% lower (or 1,135 crimes) than the 21,722 crimes recorded in the same month of 2019. A reduction was seen in most crime groups as detailed below (Table 1, Chart 1).
Between May 2019 and May 2020:
- Non-sexual crimes of violence were 5% lower (or 43 crimes), reducing from 787 to 744. The main contributor to this reduction was Attempted murder & serious assault which fell by 15% (or 53 crimes). Over the same period, crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 reduced by 12% (or 19 crimes) from 157 to 138 crimes. There were increases in both Robbery and Other violence, up by 16% and 10% respectively.
- Sexual crimes were 26% lower (or 338 crimes), reducing from 1,280 to 942 crimes. The main contributor to this reduction was Sexual assault which fell by almost half (45%, or 213 crimes). Reductions were also seen across all other sexual crime groups including Rape & attempted rape (down 33% or 76 crimes) and Other sexual crimes (down 8% or 47 crimes).
- Crimes of dishonesty were 11% lower (or 1,072 crimes), reducing from 9,508 to 8,436 crimes. The main contributors to this reduction were a 35% fall in levels of Shoplifting (or 957 crimes) and an 18% reduction in Other theft (down 674 crimes). Over the same period, the number of frauds recorded was 72% higher, increasing 837 to 1,441 crimes. The Changes in levels of recorded fraud section below provides users with further background on what may be contributing to this change.
- Fire-raising, vandalism etc. was 22% lower (or 962 crimes), reducing from 4,286 to 3,324 crimes. The main contributor to this reduction was Vandalism etc., which fell by around a quarter (23%, or 900 crimes). A reduction was also seen in Fire-raising, which fell by 21% (or 62 crimes) from 299 to 237 crimes.
- Other crimes was 22% higher (or 1,280 crimes), increasing from 5,861 to 7,141 crimes. The main contributors to this increase was Crimes against public justice which rose by just over half (52%, or 835 crimes) and Drugs crime which increased by 12% (or 415 crimes).
Offences recorded by the police
In May 2020, the police recorded 21,069 offences. This is 5% lower (or 1,052 offences) than the 22,121 offences recorded in the same month in 2019. A reduction was seen in both offence groups as detailed below (Table 2).
Between May 2019 and May 2020:
- Miscellaneous offences remained relatively unchanged, decreasing by less than 1% (or 49 offences), reducing from 11,507 to 11,458. The biggest decrease was seen in Common assault, which fell by 13% (or 648 offences) while the biggest increase was seen in Breach of the peace etc., which increased by 7% (or 326 offences).
- Motor vehicle offences were 9% lower (or 1,003 offences), reducing from 10,614 to 9,611. The main contributor to this reduction was Speeding offences, which fell by 31% (or 868 offences). With the exception of Driving under the influence and Unlawful use of vehicle, reductions where seen in all other categories of motor vehicle offences.
Compared to May 2019, a reduction in recorded crime was seen in 19 (59%) out of 32 local authorities, with the remaining 13 showing an increase (Table 3). The largest decrease was seen in Midlothian (down 23%) and largest increase was in Na h-Eileanan Siar (up 131%). It should be noted that the relatively small number of crimes recorded in some of Scotland's local authorities can fluctuate over time - leading to large percentage changes. This is particularly relevant in this release, where monthly data is being presented rather than the annual information provided in the National Statistics.
The biggest contributors by volume to the overall reduction in crimes recorded by the police were Edinburgh City (down 20% or 559 crimes), followed by Glasgow City (down 8% or 284 crimes) and Aberdeenshire (down 18% or 116 crimes). Combined, these three local authorities represent over four-fifths (84%) of the overall reduction in crime compared to the previous May.
April to May 2020 compared with April to May 2019.
Overall, in April to May 2020 the police recorded 37,758 crimes, a reduction of 12% (or 4,958 crimes) compared to the same period in 2019 (42,716 crimes) (Table 4). The biggest drivers of this reduction by volume were Shoplifting (down 42% or 2,366 crimes), Vandalism etc. (down 24% or 1,953 crimes) and Other theft (down 24% or 1,709 crimes). Fraud saw the biggest increase over this period, growing 55% (or 902 crimes) from 1,628 to 2,530 crimes.
Over the same period, the number of offences recorded by the police was around a fifth lower (18% or 8,386 offences), with Miscellaneous offences falling by 8% (or 1,790 offences) and Motor vehicle offences falling by 26% (or 6,596 offences) (Table 5).