Publication - Statistics

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services Data Report - April 2021

Monthly data report on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the justice system in Scotland, including information from Police Scotland, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, and Scottish Prison Service.

35 page PDF

911.8 kB

35 page PDF

911.8 kB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services Data Report - April 2021
Police Activity (Police Scotland)

35 page PDF

911.8 kB

Police Activity (Police Scotland)

101 and 999 call volumes

Total weekly 999 & 101 calls have generally been lower compared to the equivalent weeks from the previous year.

  • Both 101 calls and 999 calls have remained relatively stable over the past six months.
  • In the week ending 2nd May, 40,010 calls were made to Police Scotland.
  • When combined, calls were lower than the previous week.
Chart: Number of calls
A flow chart showing how crime flows through the justice system. Firstly, a crime is reported. Police then review the incident to determine if it is a crime, and where possible, charge a suspect. Police then report the case to COPFS, who determine if the accused will be kept in custody, released on an undertaking, or at liberty. Prosecutors then decide how the accused will be prosecuted. The case is then heard in court and court outcomes are decided. If the accused is found guilty, or tendered a guilty plea, then the accused can be given: a custodial sentence, a community sentence, a monetary penalty, admonished/dismissed or an ‘other’ disposal.
Type of call Week ending 25th April 2021 Week ending 2nd May 2021
101 calls 28,368 28,051
999 calls 12,523 11,959
Total calls 40,891 40,010

Incidents recorded

Weekly incident numbers have been similar in April 2021, compared to April 2020. It should be noted that coronavirus restrictions were in place in both months.

While there has been fluctuation in March and April 2021, incident levels have generally been lower, compared to the equivalent weeks from the previous year.

Scotland entered Phase 2 of its route map on 28th May 2020. There was an increase in incidents during that week (ending Sunday 31st May). However, incident numbers remained below 2019-20 levels in the weeks that folllowed, and declined from November onwards. Scotland entered a new period of lockdown on 5th January 2021. Since then, incidents have remained comparatively low, although there is evidence of an increasing trend since mid-January.

Chart: Number of incidents
Line graph showing the numbers of 101 and 999 calls has been relatively stable in recent months.

In the week ending 2nd May:

29,542 incidents recorded ↑ Up 2% compared to the equivalent week in 2020 (29,086 incidents)

Further information:

A full breakdown of calls & incident volumes is available from:

https://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/covid-19-police-scotland-response/enforcement-and-response-data/

Recorded Crime in Scotland

The recorded crime figures presented below exclude crimes recorded under the coronavirus legislation.

Chart: Number of crimes and offences recorded
Line graph showing incidents recorded by Police Scotland in March 2019-April 2020, compared to March 2020-April 2021.

Note: Each set of columns shows from left to right, April 2019, 2020 and 2021

April 2021

The number of crimes recorded in April 2021 was above 2020 levels (when the first pandemic lockdown was in place) and lower than 2019 levels (for which there was no pandemic or restrictions on movement).

The number of crimes reco rded in April 2021 was 13% higher than in April 2020 and 8% lower than in April 2019. The number of offences was 31% higher than in April 2020 and 7% lower than in April 2019.

Since last year, all crime and offence groups have seen an increase, however the majority were still lower than pre-pandemic levels (April 2019).

Sexual crimes were 45% higher (or 355 crimes) than in April 2020, and 8% higher than in April 2019. Sexual assault saw the largest increase since April 2020, increasing by 69%, however it remained 8% below April 2019 levels. Other sexual crimes increased by 30% compared to April 2020; this was also a 20% increase compared to April 2019. Rape and attempted rape increased by 51% compared to April 2020; this is also a 10% increase compared to April 2019.

Other crimes were 13% higher (or 692 crimes) than in April 2020. This was also an 11% increase since April 2019. The main contributors to these increases were Crimes against public justice (which rose by 13% compared to April 2020 and 32% compared to April 2019) and Drugs (which rose by 16% compared to April 2020 and 4% compared to April 2019).

The following chart shows a breakdown of the crime and offence groups, comparing April 2019, 2020 and 2021

Bar chart showing crimes and offences April 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Note: each category shows columns from left to right for April 2019, 2020 and 2021

The biggest drivers of the increase from April 2020 to April 2021 were Fraud, Vandalism etc. and Drugs.

The biggest drivers of the 13% increase from April 2020 to April 2021 (by volume) were:

Fraud

↑ 55% (or 595 crimes)

↑ 113

Vandalism etc.

↑ 17% (or 493 crimes)

↓ 14% (or 560 crimes) compared to April 2019

Drugs

↑ 16% (or 431 crimes)

↑ 4% (or 108 crimes) compared to April 2019

The biggest decreases over this period were in:

Housebreaking

↓ 33% (or 318 crimes)

↓ 38% (or 398 crimes) compared to April 2019

The Changes in levels of recorded fraud section in the latest bulletin provides further background on what may be contributing to the above increase.

Further Information:

The data in this section comes from the monthly Official Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please see Recorded Crime in Scotland: April 2021.

Coronavirus legislation intervention activity

This information is drawn from Police Scotland's 'Coronavirus Interventions' application, which relies on manual input from Police Officers. Due to this manual input, these figures should be viewed as indicative only.

This system currently provides the broadest picture of the differing levels of co-operation experienced by Police across Scotland.

The use of interventions increased in April 2021. This was due to a spike across the Easter weekend at the beginning of April, however levels have generally been lower than April to June 2020 levels.

Total use of interventions increased by 48% (or 4,883 interventions) since the previous month.

Chart: Number of interventions (including 7-day rolling average)
Bar chart showing crime and offence group levels recorded in April 2019, 2020 and 2021.

COVID-19 Intervention Activity in April 2021

In April, 90% of interventions made were dispersals. This is a higher percentage than in the previous month (76% in March).

Chart: Monthly COVID-19 interventions
Number of interventions under Coronavirus legislation (including 7-day rolling average).

Of the remaining 21% of interventions:

  • 1,622 were dispersed using reasonable force (this is the highest monthly figure to date: previously, the highest figure was 1,220 in March 2021)
  • 1,474 were issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)
  • 48 were arrested

Further Information:

A full breakdown of interventions is available from Police Scotland:

https://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/covid-19-police-scotland-response/enforcement-and-response-data/

Police Recorded Domestic Abuse Incidents

The number of Domestic Abuse incidents recorded in April 2021 was lower than the level seen in both April 2019 and 2020.

These updates (including the proportion with a crime or offence) will be reflected in future editions of the Official Statistics on Domestic Abuse in Scotland. The next edition, to be published in June 2021, will cover the 2019-20 reporting year.

Chart: Number of domestic abuse incidents recorded in April 2019, 2020 and 2021
Pie chart showing that most interventions in April 2021 were dispersals when informed.

In April 2021:

4,944 Domestic incidents recorded ↓ Down 6% since April 2020 (5,356 incidents) ↓ Down 8% since April 2019 (5,244 incidents)

The proportion of April 2021 incidents that included the recording of at least one crime or offence was 43.1%. Police Scotland's Management Information Report suggests an equivalent figure of 43.9% for 2019-20.

In addition to the above, separate figures on crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 are available from the Recorded Crime in Scotland monthly Official Statistics. There were 137 such crimes recorded by the police in April 2021, this is 26% higher than April 2020 (109 crimes) and 9% higher than April 2019 (126 crimes).

Police Recorded Domestic Abuse Incidents per 10,000 population

Across Scotland as a whole, the police recorded 9 domestic abuse incidents per 10,000 population during April 2021.

The local authorities with the highest rates were West Dunbartonshire (14), Dundee City (14) and North Lanarkshire (12).

The following chart shows local authorities with rates above the national average
Bar chart showing the number of domestic abuse incidents in April 2019, 2020 and 2021.
The following map shows Domestic Abuse incidents per 10,000 population, April 2021
Bar chart of Local Authorities with rates above the national average of domestic abuse incidents per 10,000 population.

Further Information:

The crime data in this section comes from the monthly Official Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please see Recorded Crime in Scotland: April 2021


Contact

Email: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot