Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2022-23

Statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the police in Scotland in 2022-23, split by crime or offence group and by local authority.

This document is part of a collection

Key points

Between 2021-22 and 2022-23:

  • Crimes recorded by the police in Scotland increased by 1%, from 286,464 to 289,362. The recording of crime remains at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974.
  • Crimes recorded under Coronavirus related legislation fell from 3,913 to zero. All other crimes collectively increased by 2%.
  • Non-sexual crimes of violence decreased by 1%, from 69,286 to 68,870. Common assault (also down 1%) makes up the clear majority (84%) of all non-sexual crimes of violence recorded in 2022-23.
  • Sexual crimes decreased by 3%, from 15,049 to 14,602. These crimes are now at the second highest level seen since 1971, the first year for which comparable groups are available.
  • Crimes of dishonesty increased by 11%, from 92,873 to 103,393. The recording of these crimes is at the third lowest level seen since 1971.
  • Damage and reckless behaviour crimes decreased by 3%, from 44,284 to 43,123. The recording of these crimes is at the second lowest level seen since 1976.
  • Crimes against society decreased by 3% from 61,059 to 59,374. Most of these crimes relate to crimes against public justice (39%) or drug possession (38%).
  • Offences recorded by the police in Scotland collectively decreased by 5%, from 180,913 to 172,207. This included a reduction in Antisocial offences (down 11%), Miscellaneous offences (down 1%) and Road traffic offences (down 2%).

Police recorded cyber-crime in Scotland

This bulletin also provides an updated estimate of how many cyber-crimes were recorded in Scotland.

Key Points:

  • In 2022-23, an estimated 14,890 cyber-crimes were recorded by the police in Scotland. This is similar to the estimated volume recorded for both 2020-21 and 2021-22 (14,860 and 14,280 respectively), but remains significantly above the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20 (with 7,710 cyber-crimes)
  • Cyber-crimes accounted for an estimated 26% of Sexual crimes in 2022-23, 8% of Crimes of dishonesty and 3% of Non-sexual crimes of violence.

Official Statistics on Clear up rates

In addition to the National Statistics on police recorded crimes and offences, this bulletin also presents Official Statistics on crimes and offences cleared up by the police in 2022-23. A definition of clear up rates is provided in the clear up rates chapter.

In 2022-23 the clear up rate was 53.3%, down from 54.0% in 2021-22. Crimes against society (93.4%), Non-sexual crimes of violence (67.3%) and Sexual crime (53.4%) continued to have higher clear up rates in 2022-23 than Crimes of dishonesty (31.0%) and Damage and reckless behaviour (28.8%).

The number of crimes recorded by the police rose steadily from the nineteen-seventies to the early nineteen-nineties; since then crime has generally fallen. Comparable records began in 1971, with recorded crime peaking in 1991 at 613,943 crimes. Ten years ago there were 331,629 recorded crimes and one year ago there were 286,464 recorded crimes. In 2022-23, 289,362 crimes were recorded.

In 2022-23, recorded crime consisted of 36 percent Crimes of dishonesty, 24 percent Non-sexual crimes of violence, 21 percent Crimes against society, 15 percent Damage and reckless behaviour and 5 percent Sexual Crimes.

Ten-year trends vary by crime group. Recorded Sexual crimes have increased by 70 percent between 2013-14 and 2022-23. Recorded Non-sexual crimes of violence and recorded Crimes against society have largely held steady though there has been some fluctuation. Damage and reckless behaviour has decreased between 2013-14 and 2022-23 and Crimes of dishonesty has also decreased though has increased in recent years.

An estimated 40 percent of crime is reported to the police, based on the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (2019-20).

An estimated 5 percent of crime is cyber-dependent or cyber-enabled, based on research into a sample of police recorded crime.



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