Recorded crime in Scotland: 2016-2017

Statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the police in Scotland, split by crime or offence group and by local authority.

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Total Recorded Offences

Total Recorded Offences

Total number of offences recorded in 2016-17:

Due to anomalies in the data for Miscellaneous offences and Motor vehicle offences, statistics for total recorded offences by the police are only comparable from 2013-14 onwards. Further detail on these anomalies can be found in the ' Data Considerations' sections below and in the following sections under each offence group, as well as in Annex 2.

The total number of offences recorded by the police in Scotland decreased by almost 15% from 339,193 in 2015-16 to 288,961 in 2016-17 ( Table 7). This amounts to an overall decrease of 42% since 2013-14.

Miscellaneous offences and Motor vehicle offences account for fairly equal proportions of total offences, compared to 2013-14 when Motor vehicle offences accounted for almost 60% of the total.

Local Authority analysis:

All but four (28) local authority areas showed a decrease in recorded offences between 2015-16 and 2016-17. Further explanation of these trends is set out in the following sections under each offence group.

Data Considerations

It should be noted that the number of offences recorded by the police generally tends to be affected more by police activity and operational decisions than the numbers of crimes.

National Statistics on total recorded offences are based on data which Police Scotland extract from their IT system (called the Scottish Operational and Management Information System ( ScOMIS)) and submit to the Scottish Government. Prior to 2014-15 and the establishment of Police Scotland, the Scottish Government collected recorded offences data from the eight legacy forces, who in turn extracted the data from their own systems.

Coinciding with this change of collection, the Scottish Government carried out an extensive data quality exercise to assess the comparability of data extracted from ScOMIS with the data published in previous bulletins. This analysis identified that a number of offence codes are non-comparable over time. For Group 6, Miscellaneous Offences, all data are fully comparable from 2008-09 onwards. For Group 7, Motor Vehicle Offences and hence the overall figures on Offences (based on Groups 6 and 7), data are only comparable from 2013-14 onwards.

The Scottish Government produced a Technical Report in 2014 which detailed the quality assurance work it carried out in reaching this conclusion:


Email: Jamie Macfarlane,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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