Recorded Crime in Scotland: November 2020

Official Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland for November 2020.

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Main findings

Crimes recorded by the police

In November 2020, the police recorded 20,331 crimes. This is 1% higher (or 244 crimes) than the 20,087 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 November 2019 and November 2020:

  • Non-sexual crimes of violence were 10% lower (or 84 crimes), decreasing from 822 to 738 crimes. Most categories in this group experienced a decrease, with the exception of Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 (which increased by 4% or 6 crimes). The most marked decrease was in the Attempted murder and serious assault category, which decreased by 64 crimes (20%), from 327 to 263.
  • Sexual crimes were 9% lower (a decrease of 106 crimes), decreasing from 1,211 to 1,105 crimes. The main contributor to this decrease by volume was Sexual assault, which decreased by 12% (or 52 crimes), from 437 to 385.
  • Crimes of dishonesty were 5% lower (or 464 crimes), reducing from 8,875 to 8,411 crimes. Most categories experienced a decrease with the exception of Fraud (which increased by 78%, from 885 to 1,577 crimes) and Theft of a motor vehicle and Other dishonesty which also saw a small increase. 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 22% from 2,505 to 1,949 crimes), Other theft (which decreased by 11% from 3,336 to 2,974 crimes) and Housebreaking (which decreased by 19% from 1,018 to 824 crimes).
  • Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 3%, from 4,024 to 3,904 crimes. Within this, crimes of Fireraising increased by 6% from 246 to 260 crimes, while Vandalism etc. decreased by 4% from 3,778 crimes to 3,644 crimes.
  • Other crimes were 20% higher (or 1,018 crimes), increasing from 5,155 to 6,173 crimes. The main contributors to this increase by volume was Crimes against public justice (which rose by 38% or 598 crimes) and Drugs crimes (which rose by 14% or 403 crimes).
Chart 1. Crimes and offences recorded by the police, by crime group, November 2020 compared with November 2019

Bar chart showing the number of crimes and offences recorded by group, comparing November 2020 with November 2020.

Offences recorded by the police

In November 2020, the police recorded 20,443 offences. This is 2% higher (or 308 offences) than the 20,135 offences recorded in the same month in 2019. There was a 3% decrease in Miscellaneous offences, and an 6% increase in Motor vehicle offences, as detailed below (Table 2).

Between November 2019 and November 2020:

  • Miscellaneous offences decreased by 3% (or 314 offences), from 10,361 to 10,047. Most categories experienced a decrease with the exception of Other miscellaneous offences (which increased 21% or 229 offences) and Drunkenness and other disorderly conduct (which increased 12% or 47 offences). The most prominent decreases were in Common assault (which decreased by 6% from 4,653 to 4,356 offences), Urinating etc., which decreased by 79% (from 187 to 39) and Breach of the peace etc. which decreased by 4% (from 4,059 to 3,914)
  • Motor vehicle offences were 6% higher (or 622 offences), increasing from 9,774 to 10,396. The main contributor to this increase was Unlawful use of a vehicle, which increased 23% (or 752 offences).

Local Authorities

Compared to November 2019, an increase in recorded crime was seen in 22 (69%) out of 32 local authorities, with 10 showing a decrease (Table 3). The largest increase was seen in the Orkney Islands (up 45%) and the largest decrease was in the Shetland Islands (down 21%). 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 increase in crimes recorded by the police were North Ayrshire (up 35% or 161 crimes), West Dunbartonshire (up 40% or 128 crimes) and Midlothian (up 43% or 109 crimes).

April to November 2020 compared with April to November 2019

Overall, in April to November 2020 the police recorded 158,333 crimes, a reduction of 6% (or 9,971 crimes) compared to the same period in 2019 (168,304 crimes) (Table 4). The biggest drivers of this reduction by volume were Shoplifting (down 33% or 7,042 crimes), Other theft (down 18% or 5,254), and Vandalism etc. (down 11% or 3,541 crimes). Crimes against public justice saw the biggest increase over this period, growing by 34% (or 4,448 crimes) from 12,992 to 17,440 crimes. Fraud was also higher, increasing by 64% (or 4,436 crimes) from 6,974 to 11,410.

Over the same period, the number of offences recorded by the police was 6% lower (or 9,849 offences), with Miscellaneous offences decreasing by 2% (or 1,550 offences) and Motor vehicle offences falling by 10% (or 8,299 offences) (Table 5).



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