Group 5 – Other Crimes
Number of Other crimes recorded in 2016-17:
Other crimes account for almost one quarter (23%) of all crimes recorded in Scotland in 2016-17. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, the number of Other crimes recorded by the police in Scotland decreased by 7%, from 59,218 to 54,946.
Chart 15 below shows the number of Other crimes from 1971 onwards. Other crimes increased for a long period, peaking in 2006-07. Since then they have generally reduced, decreasing by 35% up to 2016-17. These crimes are now at the lowest level since 1997-98.
Chart 15: Other crimes recorded by the police, 1971 1 to 1994 then 1995‑96 to 2016-17 ( Table 10)
1. Crimes recorded for the present crime groups arenot available prior to 1971.
The national rate of recorded Other crimes decreased from 110 per 10,000 population in 2015-16 to 102 crimes per 10,000 population in 2016-17. This varied by local authority area, with the highest rate in Glasgow City (183 per 10,000 population), and the lowest in the Orkney Islands (26 per 10,000 population) ( Table 13).
Chart 16 shows the four categories within Other crimes over the last ten years, and gives an indication of the trend and scale of each category. Drugs crimes have consistently been the biggest contributor to Other crimes. In 2016-17, 59% of Other crimes were drug crimes. A further 34% were Crimes against public justice and 6% were crimes of Handling Offensive weapons.
Chart 16: Other crimes in Scotland, 2007-08 to 2016-17
Drug crimes account for 59% of Other crimes. Over the ten year period from 2007-08 to 2016-17 this crime has decreased by 20%, including an 8% decrease from 35,479 in 2015-16 to 32,641 in 2016-17.
Nearly four fifths (25) of local authorities recorded a decrease in this category over the ten year period. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, nearly two thirds (20) of local authorities showed a decrease.
Crimes against public justice:
Crimes against public justice account for 34% of Other Crimes and include Bail offences, Resisting arrest and Wasting police time. Over the ten year period from 2007-08 to 2016-17 this crime has decreased by 40%, including an 8% decrease from 20,361 in 2015-16 to 18,795 in 2016-17.
Over the ten year period, all but two local authorities recorded a decrease in this category. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, three quarters (24) of local authorities showed a decrease.
Handling offensive weapons:
Crimes of Handling offensive weapons account for 6% of Other crimes. Over the ten year period from 2007-08 to 2016-17 this crime has decreased by 64%, however there was a 5% increase from 3,111 in 2015-16 to 3,271 in 2016-17.
Over the ten year period, all local authorities recorded a decrease in this category. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, just over half (17) of local authorities showed a decrease.
The Other category within Other crimes includes Treason, Conspiracy, Explosive offences, Wrecking, piracy and hijacking, and Crimes against public order.
This category accounted for less than 0.5% of Other crimes in 2016-17. Over the last 10 years this type of crime increased between 2007-08 and 2012-13, and has fallen since then. In 2016-17 the number of crimes recorded was 5% lower than in 2007-08. There was a 10% decrease from 267 in 2015-16 to 239 in 2016-17.
Scottish Government statisticians reviewed a sample of 800 drug possession crime records from 2014-15 and 2015-16 - as part of the production process for the annual statistics release on Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics. As part of the review process, the quality of recording for crimes of drug possession was checked and found to be very good, with nearly 100% of the sampled records classified correctly.
A separate 'Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics' bulletin is produced by the Scottish Government. It contains more detailed information on the quantities of drugs seized and the characteristics of those who commit crimes of drug possession. Based on a review of 800 drug possession crime records it was found that the vast majority of drug possession offenders were male and the average age of an offender was 30. Around two thirds of drug possessions involved the seizure of cannabis. More information can be found by accessing the 'Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics' bulletin:
Email: Jamie Macfarlane, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House