Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services data report - December 2021

This pack provides information on the impact of COVID-19 on the Justice system during December 2021.

Data has been gathered from a number of different sources and may be subject to future revision.

This document is part of a collection


Recorded Crime in Scotland

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

Chart: Number of crimes and offences recorded
Bar chart showing crimes and offences in December 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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

December 2021

The number of crimes reco rded in December 2021 was 8% lower than in December 2020 and 12% lower than in December 2019. The number of offences was 9% lower compared to December 2020 and 19% lower than in December 2019.

Non-sexual crimes of violence were 5% (or 36 crimes) higher compared to December 2020, increasing from 698 to 734 crimes, and 2% higher compared to December 2019 (increasing from 723 crimes). Within this, Attempted murder and serious assault increased by 10% compared to December 2020 (from 260 to 286). Other violence increased by 27% compared to December 2020 (from 176 to 223) and also increased by 78% from December 2019 (from 125 to 223). The increase in Other violence between December 2020 and December 2021 was due to a rise in Drugging (from 1 to 72 crimes). The rise in Drugging is likely due to cases of "spiking". A rise in Threats and extortion was also a factor in the increase in Other violence since December 2019, with the recently published National Statistics bulletin estimating that more than three-quarters (77%) of Threats and extortion recorded in 2020-21 were cyber-crimes. Crimes under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 decreased by 17% compared to December 2020 (from 128 to 106 crimes), and were 21% lower than in December 2019 (decreasing from 134 to 106 crimes).

Sexual crimes were 22% (or 199 crimes) higher compared to December 2020, increasing from 885 to 1,084 crimes. This was also 12% higher than in December 2019 (increasing from 968 crimes). Sexual assault saw the largest increase since December 2020, increasing by 56% (from 278 to 433). This was also 27% higher compared to December 2019 (from 341 to 433). Rape and attempted rape increased by 20% compared to December 2020, from 142 to 171 crimes, but this was a 2% decrease compared to December 2019 (from 175 to 171 crimes).

Crimes of dishonesty were 1% (or 81 crimes) lower compared to December 2020, decreasing from 7,767 to 7,686 crimes. This was also 10% lower than in December 2019 (decreasing from 8,502 crimes). Crimes of Fraud have increased throughout the pandemic. Despite almost no change compared to December 2020 (from 1,497 to 1,494 crimes), this follows a 65% increase since December 2019 (from 905 to 1,494). The Changes in levels of recorded fraud section in the monthly crime publication provides users with further background on what may be contributing to this change. Other dishonesty has been the biggest contributor (by volume) to thedecrease since 2020 having fallen by 29% compared to December 2020 (from 354 to 251 crimes), and was 33% lower when compared to December 2019.

Fire-raising, vandalism etc. was 11% (or 403 crimes) lower compared to December 2020, decreasing from 3,605 to 3,202 crimes, and was 19% lower than December 2019. Vandalism etc. has fallen 12% since December 2020 (decreasing from 3,424 to 3,027). This is 18% lower than December 2019 levels.

Other crimes were 22% (or 1,157 crimes) lower than in December 2020, decreasing from 5,274 to 4,117 crimes. This is also 19% lower than December 2019 (decreasing from 5,086 to 4,117 crimes). The main contributors to these decreases were Drugs (which fell by 33% compared to December 2020 and 32% compared to December 2019) and Crimes against public justice (which fell by 10% compared to December 2020 but were unchanged compared to December 2019).

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

Bar chart showing crime and offence group levels recorded in December 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Note: each category shows rows from top to bottom for December 2019, 2020 and 2021

The biggest decreases from December 2020 to December 2021 were Drugs and Vandalism etc.

The biggest decreases over this period were:

Drugs

↓ 33% (or 881 crimes)

↓ 32% (or 831 crimes) compared to December 2019

Vandalism etc.

↓ 12% (or 397 crimes)

↓ 18% (or 686 crimes) compared to December 2019

The biggest increases from December 2020 to December 2021 (by volume) were:

Other theft

↑ 10% (or 251 crimes)

↓ 8% (or 248 crimes) compared to December 2019

Sexual assault

↑ 56% (or 155 crimes)

↑ 27% (or 92 crimes) compared to December 2019

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: December 2021.

Police Recorded Domestic Abuse Incidents

The number of Domestic Abuse incidents recorded in December 2021 was higher than the level seen in December 2020 but lower than in December 2019.

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 most recent edition covers the 2020-21 reporting year.

Chart: Number of domestic abuse incidents recorded in November and December 2019, 2020 and 2021
Bar chart showing the number of domestic abuse incidents in November and December 2019, 2020 and 2021.

In December 2021:

5,331 Domestic incidents recorded

Up 3% since December 2020 (5,199 incidents)

Down 6% since December 2019 (5,655 incidents)

In April to December 2021:

47,822 Domestic incidents recorded

Down 3% since the same months in 2020 (49,353 incidents)

Up 1% since the same months in 2019 (47,363 incidents)

The proportion of April to December 2021 incidents that included the recording of at least one crime or offence was 42.4%, lower than for the equivalent period in 2020-21, at 43.2%.

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 106 such crimes recorded by the police in December 2021, this is 17% lower than December 2020 (128 crimes) and 21% lower than December 2019 (134 crimes).

Police Recorded Domestic Abuse Incidents per 10,000 population

Across Scotland as a whole, the police recorded 87 domestic abuse incidents per 10,000 population[1] during the period April to December 2021.

The local authorities with the highest rates were Dundee City (126), West Dunbartonshire (121) and Clackmannanshire (112).

The following chart shows local authorities with rates above the national average.

Bar chart of Local Authorities with domestic abuse incident rates above the national average per 10,000 population.

The following map shows local authorities with above the national average (in a darker shading) of Domestic Abuse incidents per 10,000 population, in the period April to December 2021.

Map of of Local Authorities with domestic abuse incident rates above the national average 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 the Monthly Official Statistics on Recorded Crime in Scotland.

Contact

Email: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot

Back to top