News

Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2017-18

Published: 25 Sep 2018 09:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2017-18.

A procedural change was made to the recording of crime in 2017-18. Crimes of handling an offensive weapon are now included in these statistics for all cases where the weapon was used in a public place to commit a crime or offence against another person. This change has resulted in an additional 4,163 crimes of handling an offensive weapon being recorded in 2017-18.

The main findings include:

There were 244,504 crimes recorded by the police in Scotland in 2017-18. This is the second lowest level of recorded crime since 1974.

Between 2016-17 and 2017-18, the number of crimes recorded by the police increased by 1% - excluding those additional crimes of handling an offensive weapon, which were only recorded from 2017-18 onwards.

If the additional crimes of handling an offensive weapon are included, crimes recorded by the police increased by 2%. This is not a reliable measure given those crimes of handling an offensive weapon were not recorded prior to 2017-18.

The number of Non-sexual crimes of violence recorded by the police increased by 1% from 7,164 in 2016-17 to 7,251 in 2017-18. The recording of these crimes remains at a lower level than all years between 1975 and 2012-13.

Sexual crimes increased by 13% from 11,092 in 2016-17 to 12,487 in 2017-18. Following the enactment of The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 on 3rd July 2017, part of this increase includes 421 new crimes of disclosing or threatening to disclose an intimate image. 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) increased by 1% from 113,205 in 2016-17 to 114,474 in 2017-18. The recording of these crimes is at the second lowest level seen since 1971.

Crimes of Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 2% from 52,514 in 2016-17 to 51,322 in 2017-18. The recording of these crimes is at the lowest level seen since 1978.

Other crimes (including Drugs and Crimes against public justice) remained at similar levels to 2016-17 – excluding those additional crimes of handling an offensive weapon, which were only recorded from 2017-18 onwards.

If the additional crimes of handling an offensive weapon are included, Other crimes recorded by the police increased by 7%. This is not a reliable measure given those crimes of handling an offensive weapon were not recorded prior to 2017-18.

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 2017-18.

The clear up rate for all recorded crimes in 2017-18 was 49.5%.

Clear up rates in 2017-18 were higher for some types of crime than others. Other crimes (89.6%), non-sexual crimes of violence (76.1%) and sexual crime (60.0%) had higher clear up rates than crimes of dishonesty (36.9%) and fire-raising, vandalism etc. (25.2%).

Between 2016-17 and 2017-18 the clear up rate fell by 0.9 percentage points from 50.0% to 49.1% - excluding those additional crimes of handling an offensive weapon which were only recorded from 2017-18 onwards.

If the additional crimes of handling an offensive weapon are included, the clear up rate fell by 0.5 percentage points from 50.0% to 49.5%. This is not a reliable measure of change between these two years given those crimes of handling an offensive weapon were not recorded prior to 2017-18.

Background
 
1. The full statistical publication can be accessed at:  http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/09/2051
 
2. 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.
 
3. Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice 
 
4. National and Official Statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of Official Statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About