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Recorded Crime in Scotland: April 2020

Published: 04 Jun 2020 09:30

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Recorded Crime in Scotland: April 2020.

This bulletin is the first edition of a new monthly release of Official Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland. It provides information on the number of crimes and offences recorded during April 2020, and includes a comparison with the equivalent month of the previous year.

These Official Statistics have been introduced to inform users about the volume and type of crimes and offences recorded in Scotland during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The main findings include:

The number of crimes recorded by the police in Scotland was 18% lower in April 2020 than in April 2019, reducing from 20,994 to 17,171.

Over the same time period:

  • Non-sexual crimes of violence were 14% lower (reducing from 740 to 636).
  • Sexual crimes were 26% lower (reducing from 1,055 to 781).
  • Crimes of dishonesty were 24% lower (reducing from 9,459 to 7,177)
  • Fire-raising, vandalism etc. were 26% lower (reducing from 4,233 to 3,148).
  • Other crimes remained relatively unchanged, at 1% lower (reducing from 5,507 to 5,429).
  • Fewer crimes were recorded by the police in all but two local authorities.Over the same time period:
  • The number of offences recorded by the police in Scotland was 29% lower in April 2020 than in April 2019, reducing from 21,644 to 15,449.
  • Miscellaneous offences were 16% lower (reducing from 11,047 to 9,306).
  • Motor vehicle offences were 42% lower (reducing from 10,597 to 6,143).


The full statistical publication can be accessed at here.

It should be noted that the total figure for recorded crime presented throughout this bulletin excludes the new crimes being recorded under the recently enacted coronavirus legislation. More detail on these crimes is provided in the bulletin.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.