Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2015-16

Statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the police in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection

1. Structure of Bulletin

1.1. This bulletin presents National Statistics on the number of crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland and Official Statistics on the number cleared up.

1.2. Key Points on Recorded Crime in Scotland are shown on pages 1 to 3.

1.3. Chapter 2 provides a summary of the background to Recorded Crime in Scotland, including a list of the seven groups that crimes and offences are separated into for statistical purposes. Summary information on the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey is also provided.

1.4. Chapter 3 presents the latest statistics for total recorded crime in Scotland, before splitting this into a dedicated section for each of the five crime groups. The same format is then used to present statistics for the total number of recorded offences in Scotland, and the two associated offence groups. These sections provide information in the following segments:

The number of crimes/offences recorded - which includes further detail on what each crime/offence group comprises, changes over time and analysis at local authority level.

Data Considerations - which, where relevant, includes information on any changes to the process which underpins the collection of recorded crime/offence data and their impact on interpretation of the statistics. Where relevant this section also includes feedback supplied by Police Scotland on possible reasons for changes in the number of crimes/offences recorded over the year.

Data Validation - which, where relevant, includes information on the auditing of crime recording practices by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland ( HMICS).

Data Comparisons - which includes detail on other sources of related statistics, which may allow the user of police recorded crime/offence statistics to view the data in a wider context.

The section on Group 6 - Miscellaneous offences also includes new analysis of police recorded common assault. This is based on a random sample of 500 offence records from 2014-15, which have been reviewed by statisticians to gather new information on the nature of this offence.

1.5. Chapter 4 presents the latest Official Statistics on Clear up rates for recorded crime in Scotland.

1.6. Throughout this bulletin frequent use is made of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey ( SCJS) - a complementary measure of crime. This ensures a fuller and more comprehensive picture of crime in Scotland can be presented. Where appropriate, dedicated information is provided within the Data Comparisons segment for each of the crime/offence groups (in a summary shaded box). Where comparisons are made between SCJS and police recorded crime these are mostly made since 2008-09, following changes to the current SCJS survey design and the increased sample size.

In addition to this, Chapter 5 presents a topic report on 'Putting Recorded Crime in Context - A comparison with the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey'.

1.7. Chapter 6 presents information on Recorded Crime in Scotland through a series of tables. Please note that Tables 5-8 can be accessed at local authority level online via the following link:

1.8. Chapter 7 includes a series of Annexes, which provide further information on the process of recording crimes and offences in Scotland. These include:

  • Data sources and definitions;
  • Quality of the statistics;
  • Comparisons with England & Wales and Northern Ireland;
  • User engagement;
  • Upcoming coding changes and Future considerations; and
  • Other notes (including contact details for further analysis).

1.9. Chapter 8 contains a classification list of crimes and offences, showing how these are amalgamated together to produce the seven crime and offence groups covered in this bulletin.


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