Crimes recorded by the police
In January 2021, the police recorded 16,813 crimes. This is 12% lower (or 2,241 crimes) than the 19,054 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 January 2020 and January 2021:
- Non-sexual crimes of violence were 9% lower (or 64 crimes), decreasing from 736 to 672. The most marked decrease was in Attempted murder and serious assault, which decreased by 75 crimes (26%), from 291 to 216. All crime categories decreased with the exception of Other violence, which increased by 89 crimes (68%), from 130 to 219.
- Sexual crimes were 22% lower (or 246 crimes), decreasing from 1,107 to 861 crimes. The main contributor to this decrease by volume was Sexual assault, which decreased by 36% (or 146 crimes), from 405 to 259.
- Crimes of dishonesty were 21% lower (or 1,847 crimes), decreasing from 8,658 to 6,811 crimes. All categories experienced a decrease with the exception of Fraud (which increased by 60%, from 969 to 1,555 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 38% from 2,205 to 1,366 crimes), Other theft (which decreased by 25% from 3,054 to 2,292 crimes) and Housebreaking (which decreased by 37% from 1,142 to 717 crimes).
- Fire-raising, vandalism etc. was 20% lower (or 788 crimes), decreasing from 3,964 to 3,176 crimes. Within this, crimes of Fire-raising decreased by 3% from 179 to 174 crimes, and Vandalism etc. decreased by 21% from 3,785 crimes to 3,002 crimes.
- Other crimes were 15% higher (or 704 crimes), increasing from 4,589 to 5,293 crimes. The main contributors to this increase by volume were Crimes against public justice (which rose by 32%, from 1,535 to 2,029 crimes), and Drugs (which rose by 13%, from 2,330 to 2,628 crimes).
Offences recorded by the police
In January 2021, the police recorded 16,626 offences. This is 16% lower (or 3,132 offences) than the 19,758 offences recorded in the same month in 2020. There was a 12% decrease in Miscellaneous offences, and a 20% decrease in Motor vehicle offences, as detailed below (Table 2).
Between January 2020 and January 2021:
- Miscellaneous offences were 12% lower (or 1,098 offences), decreasing from 9,541 to 8,443 offences. All categories experienced a decrease with the exception of Other miscellaneous offences which increased by 13% (from 1,029 to 1,159 offences). The most prominent decreases were in Common assault (which decreased by 15%, from 4,381 to 3,723 offences) and Breach of the peace etc. which decreased by 10% (from 3,748 to 3,381 offences)
- Motor vehicle offences were 20% lower (or 2,034 offences), decreasing from 10,217 to 8,183 offences. The main contributor to this decrease was Speeding, which fell by 44% (from 2,369 to 1,336 offences).
Compared to January 2020, a decrease in recorded crime was seen in 24 (75%) out of 32 local authorities, with 8 showing an increase (Table 3). The largest increase was seen in Na h-Eileanan Siar (up 56%) and the largest decrease was in the Shetland Islands (down 47%). 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 22%, or 717 crimes) and Edinburgh City (down 21%, or 526 crimes).
April 2019 to January 2020 compared with April 2020 to January 2021
Overall, in April 2020 to January 2021 the police recorded 193,375 crimes, a reduction of 6% (or 13,192 crimes) compared to the same period the previous year (206,567 crimes) (Table 4). The biggest drivers of this reduction by volume were Shoplifting (down 33%, or 8,429 crimes), Other theft (down 19%, or 6,515 crimes), and Vandalism etc. (down 12%, or 4,613 crimes). Fraud saw the biggest increase over this period (up 63%, or 5,614 crimes), followed by Crimes against public justice (up 32%, or 5,142 crimes).
Over the same period, the number of offences recorded by the police was 7% lower (or 15,204 offences), with Miscellaneous offences decreasing by 4% (or 4,204 offences) and Motor vehicle offences decreasing by 11% (or 11,000 offences) (Table 5).