Publication - Statistics

Recorded crime in Scotland: April 2020

First edition of a new monthly release of Official Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland providing information on the number of crimes and offences recorded during April 2020.

Recorded crime in Scotland: April 2020
Main findings

Main findings

Crimes recorded by the police

In April 2020, the police recorded 17,171 crimes. This is around a fifth lower (18%, or 3,823 crimes) than the 20,994 crimes recorded in the same month of 2019. A reduction was seen in all crime groups as detailed below (Table 1).

Between April 2019 and April 2020:

  • Non-sexual crimes of violence were 14% lower (or 104 crimes), reducing from 740 to 636. The main contributor to this reduction was Attempted murder & serious assault which fell by almost two-fifths (37%), or 135 crimes. Over the same period, crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 reduced by 13% (or 17 crimes) from 126 to 109 crimes. Other violence was almost two-fifths higher (37%), increasing from 112 to 153 crimes. This was driven by an increase in Threats and extortion.
  • Sexual crimes were 26% lower (or 274 crimes), reducing from 1,055 to 781 crimes. The main contributor to this reduction was Sexual assault which fell by almost half (46%, or 186 crimes). Reductions were also seen across all other sexual crime groups including Rape & attempted rape (down 27% or 50 crimes) and Other sexual crimes (down 8% or 36 crimes).
  • Crimes of dishonesty were 24% lower (or 2,282 crimes), reducing from 9,459 to 7,177 crimes. The main contributors to this reduction were a halving in levels of Shoplifting (falling 50%, or 1,409 crimes) and a 29% reduction in Other theft (down 1,035 crimes). Over the same period, the number of frauds recorded was 38% higher, increasing 791 to 1,089 crimes. The Changes in levels of recorded fraud section below provides users with further background on what may be contributing to this change.
  • Fire-raising, vandalism etc. was 26% lower (or 1,085 crimes), reducing from 4,233 to 3,148 crimes. The main contributor to this reduction was Vandalism etc., which fell by around a quarter (26%, or 1,053 crimes). A reduction was also seen in Fire-raising, which fell by 13% (or 32 crimes) from 243 to 211 crimes.
  • Other crimes were relatively unchanged, reducing by 1% (or 78 crimes) from 5,507 to 5,429 crimes. There was a reduction in Drugs crime which fell by around a tenth (11%, or 323 crimes). However, this was offset by a higher number of Crimes against public justice which increased by 18% (or 277 crimes).

Offences recorded by the police

In April 2020, the police recorded 15,449 offences. This is over a quarter lower (29% or 6,195 offences) than the 21,644 offences recorded in the same month in 2019. A reduction was seen in both offence groups as detailed below (Table 2).

Between April 2019 and April 2020:

  • Miscellaneous offences were 16% lower (or 1,741 offences), reducing from 11,047 to 9,306. The main contributor to this reduction was Common assault, which fell by around a quarter (24%, or 1,156 offences). This was followed by Breach of the peace etc., which fell by 11% (or 466 offences).
  • Motor vehicle offences were 42% lower (or 4,454 offences), reducing from 10,597 to 6,143. The main contributor to this reduction was Speeding offences, which fell by 82% (or 2,354 offences). With the exception of Driving under the influence, reductions where seen in all other categories of motor vehicle offences.

Local Authorities

Compared to April 2019, a reduction in recorded crime was seen in all but two local authorities, with one showing an increase and another remaining unchanged (Table 3). The largest decrease was seen in the Shetland Islands (down 67%) and the only increase was in Na h-Eileanan Siar (up 45%). It should be noted that the relatively small number of crimes recorded in some of Scotland's local authorities can fluctuate over time - leading to large percentage changes. This is particluarly relevant in this release, where monthly data is being presented rather than the annual information provided in the National Statistics.

The biggest contributors by volume to the overall reduction in crimes recorded by the police were Glasgow City (down 19% or 702 crimes), followed by Edinburgh City (down 23% or 603 crimes) and North Lanarkshire (down 21% or 348 crimes). Combined, these three local authorities represent over two-fifths (43%) of the overall reduction in crime compared to the previous April.


Contact

Email: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot