Justice Analytical Services (JAS) Safer Communities and Justice Statistics Monthly Data Report May 2023 edition

This report contains summary statistics covering a number of important justice and safer communities statistics. It is published with up to date statistics every month.

This document is part of a collection

Summary statistics on crime in general

Police recorded crime is at one of the lowest levels seen for a 12 month period since 1974 and is down 4% since the year ending December 2018. Between the year ending December 2021 and the year ending December 2022, the number of crimes recorded decreased by 2%, to 287,678. This fall was driven by a reduction in crimes recorded under Covid-19 related legislation (from 15,648 to 14). All other crimes collectively increased by 4%.

Annual number of crimes recorded by the police, 2011-12 to 2020-21. Last updated September 2021. Next update due June 2022.

Crime has fallen by 46% since 2008-09. Results from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) show that around 1 in 8 adults were victims of crime in 2019-20 (11.9%) compared to 1 in 5 in 2008-09 (20.4%). The estimated number of crimes fell by 46% over the same period, and by 21% since 2016-17. The SCJS detected no change in the overall victimisation rate between 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Total crimes as reported by the Scottish Crime & Justice Survey, 2008-09 to 2019-20. Last updated March 2021.

Violent crime increased in the most recent year. Non-sexual crimes of violence recorded by the police increased by 5%, to 69,117 in the year ending December 2022. This was driven by a rise in common assault (also up 5%), which makes up the clear majority (84%) of all non-sexual crimes of violence recorded in the year ending December 2022. The SCJS showed a 39% fall in violent crime between 2008-09 and 2019-20 and that an estimated 48% of violent crime in 2019-20 was reported to the police.

Recorded sexual crimes increased in the most recent year. Sexual crimes recorded by the police increased by less than 1% to 14,640 in the year ending December 2022. This has led to the highest number of sexual crimes in the last five years. Multiple factors lie behind the long term increase in recorded sexual crime including a greater willingness of victims to come forward, more historical reporting, more online offending and the impact of new legislation. The SCJS for 2018-20 (2018-19 & 2019-20 combined) estimated that 3.6% of adults experienced at least one serious sexual assault since the age of 16, unchanged from 2008-09.

Women more likely to experience partner abuse. The SCJS, for 2018-20, estimated that 3.2% of respondents had experienced partner abuse in the year prior to interview. A higher proportion of women than men experienced this, at 3.7% and 2.6% respectively.

Decrease in crime clear up rate. The clear up rate for all recorded crimes was 54.0% in 2021-22, down from 59.3% in 2020-21 and similar to 54.9% in 2019-20. The decrease in 2021-22 reflects a partial return to the volume of different crime types recorded in the year prior to the pandemic (2019-20), albeit clear up rates have still fallen for each of the individual crime groups.

No. of victims of homicide at record low. There were 53 homicide victims recorded by the police in Scotland in 2021-22, a 16% decrease from 2012-13 and the lowest value since comparable records began in 1976.

Annual number of victims of homicide recorded by the police, 2012-13 to 2021-22. Last updated October 2022. Next update due October 2023.

Slight decrease in recorded domestic abuse incidents. There were 64,807 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in 2021-22, a decrease of 1% on 2020-21. In 2021-22, 39% of all incidents recorded by the police included the recording of at least one crime or offence.

Annual number of incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police, broken down by whether crime/offence involved, 2011-12 to 2020-21. Last updated November 2021. Next update due November 2022.

Small increase in firearm offences. Between 2018-19 and 2019-20 the number of crimes and offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved increased by 3% (from 332 to 341 offences). The 2018-19 and 2019-20 totals are the lowest and second lowest, respectively, since comparable records began in 1980.

Number of recorded crimes and offences where a firearm was alleged to be involved, 2015-16 to 2019-20. Last updated June 2022.


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

Back to top