Summary statistics on crime in general
Police recorded crime is at the lowest level seen since 1974 and is down 14% since 2012-13. Between 2020-21 and 2021-22, the number of crimes recorded decreased by 4%, to 286,464. This fall was driven by an 81% reduction in crimes recorded under Covid-19 related legislation (from 20,976 to 3,913). All other crimes collectively increased by 1%.
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.
Violent crime increased in the most recent year. Non-sexual crimes of violence recorded by the police increased by 12%, to 69,286 in 2021-22. This was driven by a rise in common assault (also up 12%), which makes up the clear majority (84%) of all non-sexual crimes of violence recorded in 2021-22. 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 15%, to 15,049 in 2021-22. These crimes are now at the highest level seen since 1971. 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 58 homicide victims recorded by the police in Scotland in 2020-21, a 38% decrease from 2011-12 and the lowest value since comparable records began in 1976. Since 2012-13, the number of victims of homicide each year ranged between 58 and 66.
Increase in recorded domestic abuse incidents. There were 65,251 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in 2020-21, an increase of 4% on 2019-20. In 2020-21, 40% of all incidents recorded by the police included the recording of at least one crime or offence.
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.
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