Publication - Statistics

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services Data Report - March 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.

34 page PDF

849.7 kB

34 page PDF

849.7 kB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services Data Report - March 2021
Recorded Crime in Scotland

34 page PDF

849.7 kB

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 crime and offences in March 2021 were above March 2020 levels.

Note: In each pair of columns, the left is March 2020 and the right is March 2021

March 2021

The number of crimes recorded in March 2021 was above 2020 levels.

The number of crimes reco rded in March 2021 was 1% higher than in March 2020, and the number of offences was 8% higher than in March 2020[1].

Since last year, most crime and offence groups have seen an increase while two groups are at a lower level.

Crimes of dishonesty were 8% lower (or 672 crimes). This decrease was driven by falls in Shoplifting (down 21%, or 441 crimes) and Housebreaking (down 41%, or 467 crimes).

Fire-raising, vandalism etc. were 4% lower (or 144 crimes). This decrease was driven by a fall in Vandalism etc. (down 5%, or 178 crimes).

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

Chart: Number of crimes recorded in March 2021, by crime group compared to March 2020.
Bar chart showing number of crimes recorded in March 2021, by crime group compared to March 2020.

Note: In each pair of columns, the left is March 2020 and the right is March 2021

April 2020 to March 2021

For the second time since April 2020, crime was above levels for the equivalent month of the previous year.

When looking across April 2020 to March 2021*, 228,502 crimes were recorded. This was 7% lower than April 2019 to March 2020 (244,433 crimes recorded).

When comparing to previous months, crime since the start of the pandemic has generally remained below that of the preceding year, with the exception of November 2020 and the most recent month, March 2021.

Chart: Percentage change in recorded crime compared to preceding year
Bar chart showing the percentage change in recorded crime for each month from April 2020 to March 2021, compared to the equivalent months in the previous year.

*The recorded crime figures presented here exclude crimes recorded under the new coronavirus legislation.

The biggest drivers of the reduction across April to March were Shoplifting, Other theft and Vandalism etc.

The biggest drivers of the 7% reduction over April to March (by volume) were:

Shoplifting

Down 33% (or 10,076 crimes)

Other theft

Down 19% (or 7,654 crimes)

Vandalism etc.

Down 12% (or 5,416 crimes)

The biggest increases over this period were in:

Fraud

Up 63% (or 6,861 crimes)

Crimes against public justice

Up 31% (or 5,945 crimes)

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: March 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 March 2021, however trends remain lower than April to June 2020 levels

Total use of interventions has increased by 30% (or 2,327 interventions) since the previous month.

A large spike in interventions was seen on 25th June, following a large scale disturbance in Kelvingrove Park.

Chart: Number of interventions
Chart showing a fall in COVID-19 related interventions since May 2020. After a gradual rise in August and September, interventions have fallen again through October to December before rising at the start of January 2021.

COVID-19 Intervention Activity in March 2021

In March, 76% of interventions made were dispersals. This is a higher percentage than in the previous month (63% in February).

Chart: Monthly COVID-19 interventions
Pie chart showing that most interventions in March 2021 were dispersals when informed.

Of the remaining 24% of interventions:

  • 1,220 were dispersed using reasonable force (this is the highest monthly figure to date: previously, the highest figure was 181 in April 2020)
  • 2,331 were issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)
  • 108 were arrested

Further Information:

A full breakdown of interventions is available from Police Scotland

Police Recorded Domestic Abuse Incidents

The number of Domestic Abuse incidents recorded in March 2021 was slightly higher than the level seen in March 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 will cover the 2019-20 reporting year.

Looking cumulatively across April 2020 to March 2021, incidents were 3% higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Chart: Number of domestic abuse incidents
Bar chart showing monthly domestic abuse incidents from April 2020 to March 2021, compared to the equivalent month last year.

Note: In each pair of columns, the left is the month of 2019-20 and the right is the month of 2020-21

In March 2021:

5,109 Domestic incidents recorded - Up 1% since last year (5,040 incidents)

In April 2020 to March 2021:

64,140 Domestic incidents recorded - Up 3% since equivalent period last year (62,161 incidents)

The proportion of April 2020 to March 2021 incidents that include the recording of at least one crime or offence was 40%. 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 1,569 such crimes recorded by the police in April 2020 to March 2021, compared to 1,690 during the equivalent period the preceding year (down 7%).

Police Recorded Domestic Abuse Incidents per 10,000 population

Across Scotland as a whole, the police recorded 117 domestic abuse incidents per 10,000 population during April 2020 to March 2021.

The local authorities with the highest rates were Dundee City (175), West Dunbartonshire (161), and Clackmannanshire (153).

Map of domestic Abuse incidents per 10,000 population, April 2020 to March 2021
Map and bar chart showing 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: March 2021


Contact

Email: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot