Crimes recorded by the police
In August 2020, the police recorded 19,927 crimes. This is 4% lower (or 803 crimes) than the 20,730 crimes recorded in the same month of 2019. There were variations in the year-on-year trends between different crime types. (Table 1, Chart 1).
Between August 2019 and August 2020:
- Non-sexual crimes of violence were 7% higher (or 53 crimes), increasing from 775 to 828 crimes. The main contributors to this increase by volume were Attempted murder & serious assault, up by 16% (or 56 crimes), and Other Violence, which rose by 30% (or 37 crimes). Over the same period, crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 decreased by 15% (or 22 crimes) from 144 to 122 crimes.
- Sexual crimes were 3% lower (or 37 crimes), decreasing from 1,128 to 1,091 crimes. The main contributors to this decrease by volume were Sexual assault which fell by 19% (or 83 crimes) and Rape and attempted rape which decreased by 24% (or 52 crimes). Other sexual crimes increased by 21% (or 97 crimes).
- Crimes of dishonesty were 11% lower (or 1,041 crimes), reducing from 9,159 to 8,118 crimes. The main contributors to this reduction by volume were falls in Shoplifting (down 28% or 718 crimes) and Other theft (down 16% or 578 crimes). Over the same period, the number of frauds recorded was 56% higher, increasing by 488 to 1,354 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. remained almost unchanged, decreasing by less than 1% (or 9 crimes) from 3,963 to 3,954 crimes.
- Other crimes were 4% higher (or 231 crimes), increasing from 5,705 to 5,936 crimes. The main contributors to this increase by volume were Crimes against public justice, which rose by 28% (or 483 crimes) and Handling offensive weapons, which increased by 23% (or 179 crimes). Drugs crimes fell by 13%, or 421 crimes.
This chart shows a bar chart showing the number of crimes and offences recorded in August 2020 compared to August 2019. Most crime groups, with the exception of Non-sexual crimes of violence and Other crimes, were lower in August 2020 compared to August 2019.
Offences recorded by the police
In August 2020, the police recorded 21,847 offences. This is 1% higher (or 122 offences) than the 21,725 offences recorded in the same month in 2019. There was a 8% increase in Miscellaneous offences, and a 8% decrease in Motor vehicle offences, as detailed below (Table 2).
Between August 2019 and August 2020:
- Miscellaneous offences increased by 8% (or 968 offences), from 11,407 to 12,375. This was driven by increases in Breach of the peace etc., up 10% (or 436 offences), Other miscellaneous offences, which rose by 26% (or 295 offences), and Common assault, up 4% (or 21 offences). The only reduction was in Urinating etc. which fell by 29% (or 52 offences).
- Motor vehicle offences were 8% lower (or 846 offences), reducing from 10,318 to 9,472. The main contributors to this reduction were Speeding, which fell by 34% (or 905 offences), Unlawful use of a vehicle (down 6% or 199 offences), and Other motor vehicle offences (down 8%, or 172 offences). The biggest increase was in Driving under the influence, up 50% or 258 offences.
Compared to August 2019, a reduction in recorded crime was seen in 18 (56%) out of 32 local authorities, with the remaining 14 showing an increase (Table 3). The largest decrease was seen in Shetland Islands (down 38%) and the largest increase was in Moray (up 19%). 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 particularly 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 Edinburgh City (down 34% or 963 crimes), followed by Dumfries and Galloway (down 12% or 68 crimes) and Inverclyde (down 20% or 66 crimes).
April to August 2020 compared with April to August 2019
Overall, in April to August 2020 the police recorded 98,526 crimes, a reduction of 7% (or 7,843 crimes) compared to the same period in 2019 (106,369 crimes) (Table 4). The biggest drivers of this reduction by volume were Shoplifting (down 39% or 5,342 crimes), Other theft (down 20% or 3,613) and Vandalism etc. (down 14% or 2,636 crimes). Crimes against public justice saw the biggest increase over this period, growing by 34% (or 2,836 crimes) from 8,240 to 11,076 crimes. Fraud was also higher, increasing by 59% (or 2,595 crimes) from 4,365 to 6,960.
Over the same period, the number of offences recorded by the police was 7% lower (or 7,915 offences), with Miscellaneous offences remaining almost unchanged, reducing by less than 1% (or 152 offences) and Motor vehicle offences falling by 15% (or 7,763 offences) (Table 5).
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