Recorded crime statistics: February 2021

Official Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland for February 2021.

Main findings

Crimes recorded by the police

In February 2021, the police recorded 15,979 crimes. This is 16% lower (or 3,013 crimes) than the 18,992 crimes recorded in the same month of 2020. There were variations in the year-on-year trends between different crime types. (Table 1, Chart 1).

Between February 2020 and February 2021:

  • Non-sexual crimes of violence were 6% lower (or 64 crimes), decreasing from 694 to 653. The most marked decrease was in Attempted murder and serious assault, which decreased by 101 crimes (34%), from 295 to 194. Crimes of Other violence increased by 71 crimes (56%), from 127 to 198.
  • Sexual crimes were 9% lower (or 104 crimes), decreasing from 1,124 to 1,020 crimes. The main contributor to this decrease by volume was Sexual assault, which decreased by 25% (or 103 crimes), from 418 to 315.
  • Crimes of dishonesty were 28% lower (or 2,438 crimes), decreasing from 8,843 to 6,405 crimes. All categories experienced a decrease with the exception of Fraud (which increased by 45%, from 1,099 to 1,592 crimes). The Changes in levels of recorded fraud section below provides users with further background on what may be contributing to this change. The overall decrease in Crimes of dishonesty was driven by decreases in Shoplifting (which decreased by 48% from 2,505 to 1,299 crimes), Other theft (which decreased by 29% from 2,952 to 2,090 crimes) and Housebreaking (which decreased by 42% from 1,061 to 612 crimes).
  • Fire-raising, vandalism etc. was 17% lower (or 637 crimes), decreasing from 3,656 to 3,019 crimes. Within this, crimes of Fire-raising decreased by 7% from 181 to 169 crimes, and Vandalism etc. decreased by 18% from 3,475 crimes to 2,850 crimes.

Other crimes were 4% higher (or 207 crimes), increasing from 4,675 to 4,882 crimes. The main contributors to this increase by volume were Crimes against public justice (which rose by 15%, from 1,504 to 1,733 crimes), and Drugs (which rose by 9%, from 2,401 to 2,610 crimes).

Chart 1. Crimes and offences recorded by the police, by crime group, February 2021 compared with February 2020
Bar chart showing crimes and offences by crime group, comparing February 2020 and 2021.

Offences recorded by the police

In February 2021, the police recorded 15,352 offences. This is 20% lower (or 3,870 offences) than the 19,222 offences recorded in the same month in 2020. There was a 21% decrease in Miscellaneous offences, and a 19% decrease in Motor vehicle offences, as detailed below (Table 2).

Between February 2020 and February 2021:

  • Miscellaneous offences were 21% lower (or 1,988 offences), decreasing from 9,528 to 7,540 offences. All categories experienced a decrease with the exception of Other miscellaneous offences which increased by 3% (from 1,081 to 1,112 offences). The most prominent decreases were in Common assault (which decreased by 28%, from 4,411 to 3,180 offences) and Breach of the peace etc. which decreased by 17% (from 3,631 to 3,018 offences).
  • Motor vehicle offences were 19% lower (or 1,882 offences), decreasing from 9,694 to 7,812 offences. The main contributor to this decrease was Speeding, which fell by 34% (from 2,003 to 1,327 offences).

Local Authorities

Compared to February 2020, a decrease in recorded crime was seen in 26 (81%) out of 32 local authorities, with 6 showing an increase (Table 3). The largest increase was seen in Na h-Eileanan Siar (up 17%) and the largest decrease was in the Moray (down 35%). 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 decrease in crimes recorded by the police were Glasgow City (down 24%, or 781 crimes) and Edinburgh City (down 30%, or 703 crimes).

April 2019 to February 2020 compared with April 2020 to February 2021

Overall, in April 2020 to February 2021 the police recorded 209,354 crimes, a reduction of 7% (or 16,205 crimes) compared to the same period the previous year (225,559 crimes) (Table 4). The biggest drivers of this reduction by volume were Shoplifting (down 34%, or 9,635 crimes), Other theft (down 19%, or 7,377 crimes), and Vandalism etc. (down 13%, or 5,238 crimes). Fraud saw the biggest increase over this period (up 61%, or 6,107 crimes), followed by Crimes against public justice (up 30%, or 5,371 crimes).

Over the same period, the number of offences recorded by the police was 8% lower (or 19,074 offences), with Miscellaneous offences decreasing by 5% (or 6,192 offences) and Motor vehicle offences decreasing by 11% (or 12,882 offences) (Table 5).



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