Recorded Crime in Scotland 2016-17

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2016-17.

The main findings include:

The number of crimes recorded by the police in Scotland decreased by 3%, from 246,243 in 2015-16 to 238,651 in 2016-17. Recorded crime is at its lowest level since 1974.

The number of Non-sexual crimes of violence recorded by the police increased by 6% from 6,737 in 2015-16 to 7,164 in 2016-17. The recording of these crimes remains at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974.

Sexual crimes increased by 5% from 10,273 in 2015-16 to 10,822 in 2016-17. The recording of these crimes is at the highest level seen since 1971, the first year for which comparable crime groups are available.

Crimes of dishonesty (for example theft, shoplifting and housebreaking) decreased by 2% from 115,789 in 2015-16 to 113,205 in 2016-17. These crimes have been on a downward trend since they peaked in 1991.

Recorded crimes of Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 3% from 54,226 in 2015-16 to 52,514 in 2016-17. These crimes are at their second lowest level since they peaked in 2006-07.

Other crimes (including Drugs and Crimes against public justice) decreased by 7% between 2015-16 and 2016-17, from 59,218 to 54,946. These crimes have been on a generally downward trend since they peaked in 2006-07

In addition to the National Statistics on police recorded crimes and offences, this bulletin also presents Official Statistics on crimes and offences cleared up by the police in 2016-17.

The clear up rate for all recorded crimes decreased by 1.6 percentage points from 51.6% to 50.0%.


The full statistical publication can be accessed here.

Contraventions of Scottish criminal law are divided for statistical purposes into crimes and offences. ‘Crime’ is generally used for the more serious criminal acts; the less serious termed ‘offences’, although the term ‘offence’ may also be used in relation to serious breaches of criminal law. The distinction is made only for working purposes and the ‘seriousness’ of the offence is generally related to the maximum sentence that can be imposed.

Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed here.

National and Official Statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. More information on the standards of Official Statistics in Scotland can be accessed here


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