Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2020-2021

Statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the police in Scotland, split by crime or offence group and by local authority. This bulletin also includes a new chapter which presents an estimate of how many cyber-crimes were recorded in Scotland during 2019-20 and 2020-21.

This document is part of a collection

Notes for Tables

1. The definition of cleared up can be found in Chapter 4.

2. This table can be accessed at local authority level online via the excel spreadsheet contained in the ‘Supporting files’ (top left of the webpage):

3. Includes Murder and Culpable homicide (common law), which includes Causing death by dangerous driving, Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, Causing death by careless driving, Illegal driver involved in fatal accident and Corporate homicide.

4. For the definition of Serious assault and the distinction between Serious assault and Common assault please see Paragraph 7.18 within Annex 1.

5. Implementation of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act on 1 December 2010 affected the comparability of the breakdown of Sexual crimes over time. For further information please see the ‘Data Considerations’ section under Sexual crimes within Chapter 2.

6. Includes dwellings, non-dwellings and other premises. For a more detailed definition see Paragraph 7.23 within Annex 1.

7. Due to comparability issues, it is not possible to compare data with years prior to 2008-09.

8. Includes Breach of the peace and Threatening or abusive behaviour, offence of Stalking, Offensive behaviour at football and Threatening communications (Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act 2012).

9. SCJS statistically significant changes (at 95% confidence interval) shown in bold.

10. Due to comparability issues, it is not possible to compare data with years prior to 2013-14.

11. Population estimates are as at mid-year 2020 from the National Records of Scotland.

12. Data for 1975 are incomplete due to local government reorganisation.

13. For a detailed definition of Housebreaking see Paragraph 7.22 within Annex 1.

14. Offence introduced in October 2010; therefore caution should be exercised when comparing 2010-11 with the rest of this time series as 2010-11 does not comprise a full year of data.

15. Offence introduced in March 2012; therefore caution should be exercised when comparing 2011-12 with the rest of this time series as 2011-12 does not comprise a full year of data. The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 was repealed by the Scottish Parliament on 19th April 2018.

16. Part of the change in Total crime and Other crimes in 2017-18 was due to additional crimes of handling an offensive weapon. Further information on this procedural change and its impact on the statistics are available in the section on Group 5 crimes.

Notes for cyber-crime tables

Figures on estimated volume of cyber-crimes are rounded to the nearest 10 (Table A9 to A12).

17. 'Estimated volume' represents the estimated number of cyber-crimes, by crime type. It is calculated based on the proportion of cyber-crimes identified in the sample.

18. 'As a % of total' represents the proportion of crimes in the sample which are cyber-crimes out of all the crimes sampled, by crime type.

19. ‘% change’ over time is calculated as the change in the estimated volume.

20. As not all crimes under each crime group have been sampled, the percentage of those crimes which were cyber-crimes represents a minimum estimate of the prevalence of cyber-crime in Scotland. As such, these figures should be seen as providing a broad estimate rather than an exact count.

21. Group 5 - Other Crimes are not included as no type of crime in this group was likely to include a significant proportion of cyber-crime.

22. A procedural change was made in April 2020 to how crimes which could involve a victim and a perpetrator in different physical locations (e.g. cyber-crimes) are recorded. Prior to the 1st April 2020, these statistics excluded any crime with a victim in Scotland and a perpetrator who was confirmed by the police to be outside the United Kingdom when the crime took place. From the 1st April 2020 these crimes are now included in the statistics.

23. Figures calculated as a proportion of all crime, by crime type.

24. Crimes under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 have not been included as the review of crime records did not identify any impact by the procedural change.

25. The data for the 2013-14 and 2016-17 financial years comes from the Recorded crime in Scotland: 'Other sexual crimes', 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 research, published in 2017.

26. The sum of subgroups does not add up to total as other crimes have been removed due to small sample sizes. Please treat any year-on-year changes in the subgroups with caution, due to small sample sizes.

27. For the purposes of this research the Communicating indecently category also includes crimes recorded under the Communications Act 2003, which were sexual in nature.



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