Information

Recorded Crime in Scotland: November 2021

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

This document is part of a collection


Main findings

Crimes recorded by the police

In November 2021, the police recorded 18,533 crimes. This was 9% (or 1,798 crimes) lower than the 20,331 crimes recorded in the same month of 2020 (when pandemic restrictions were in place) and 8% lower than the 20,087 crimes recorded in the same month of 2019 (for which there was no pandemic or restrictions on movement). There were variations in the year-on-year trends between different crime types. However, with the exception of Non-sexual crimes of violence and Sexual crimes, all groups were lower than pre-pandemic levels (November 2019) (Error! Reference source not found., Chart 1).

In November 2021:

  • Non-sexual crimes of violence were 30% (or 225 crimes) higher compared to November 2020 (increasing from 738 to 963 crimes), and 17% higher compared to November 2019 (increasing from 822 to 963 crimes). Within this, Attempted murder and serious assault increased by 9% compared to November 2020 (from 263 to 286 crimes), but decreased by 13% from November 2019 (from 327 to 286 crimes). Other violence increased by 107% compared to November 2020 (from 166 to 344 crimes) and increased by 94% from November 2019 (from 177 to 344 crimes). The increase in Other violence between November 2020 and November 2021 was due to rises in Drugging (from 1 to 170 crimes) and Threats and extortion (from 78 to 103 crimes). The rise in Drugging is likely due to cases of "spiking", whereas the recently published National Statistics bulletin estimated that more than three-quarters (77%) of Threats and extortion recorded in 2020-21 were cyber-crimes. Crimes under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 increased by 16% compared to November 2020 (from 146 to 170 crimes), and were 21% higher than in November 2019 (increasing from 140 to 170 crimes).
  • Sexual crimes were 23% (or 258 crimes) higher compared to November 2020, increasing from 1,105 to 1,363 crimes, and were 13% (or 152 crimes) higher from November 2019 (increasing from 1,211 to 1,363 crimes). Sexual assault increased by 33% compared to November 2020 (from 385 to 512 crimes), and increased by 17% compared to November 2019 (increasing from 437 to 512 crimes). Other sexual crimes increased by 18% (from 526 to 620 crimes) compared to November 2020 and increased by 17% (from 532 to 620 crimes) compared to November 2019. The rise in Other sexual crimes since 2019 was driven by crimes including Voyeurism, Coercing a person into looking at sexual activity or images and Disclosing or threatening to disclose intimate images. Research published in the recent 2020-21 Recorded Crime National Statistics showed that the majority of these crimes are likely to be cyber-crimes. Rape and attempted rape increased by 19% compared to November 2020 (from 187 to 222 crimes), but decreased by 6% compared to November 2019 (from 235 to 222 crimes).
  • Crimes of dishonesty were 2% (or 195 crimes) lower compared to November 2020, decreasing from 8,411 to 8,216 crimes. This was 7% lower than in November 2019 (decreasing from 8,875 to 8,216 crimes). Crimes of Fraud have been at increased levels throughout the pandemic. Despite there being a 4% decrease since November 2020 (from 1,577 to 1,511 crimes), there was a a 71% increase since November 2019 (from 885 to 1,511 crimes). The Changes in levels of recorded fraud section below provides users with further background on what may be contributing to this change. Other crimes of dishonesty has been the biggest contributor (by volume) to the decrease since 2020, having fallen by 37% compared to November 2020 (from 422 to 265 crimes), and 36% when compared to November 2019.
  • Fire-raising, vandalism etc. was 3% (or 99 crimes) lower compared to November 2020, decreasing from 3,904 to 3,805 crimes, and was 5% lower than November 2019. Vandalism etc. has fallen 2% since November 2020 (decreasing from 3,644 to 3,566 crimes). This is 6% lower than November 2019 levels.
  • Other crimes were 32% (or 1,987 crimes) lower than in November 2020, decreasing from 6,173 to 4,186 crimes. This is also 19% lower than November 2019 (decreasing from 5,155 to 4,186 crimes). The main contributors to these decreases were Drugs (which fell by 48% compared to November 2020 and 41% compared to November 2019) and Crimes against public justice (which fell by 16% compared to November 2020 but were 16% higher compared to November 2019).

Chart: each category shows columns from left to right for November 2019, 2020 and 2021

Chart 1. Crimes and offences recorded by the police, by crime group, November 2019, 2020 and 2021

A bar chart showing the number of crimes and offences recorded by the police by crime group for November 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Offences recorded by the police

In November 2021, the police recorded 17,913 offences. This a fall of 12% (or 2,530 offences) from the 20,443 offences recorded in the same month in 2020, and 11% lower than in November 2019 (decreasing from 20,135 to 17,913 offences). Miscellaneous offences decreased by 5% compared to November 2020, and by 8% compared to November 2019. Motor vehicle offences decreased by 19% compared to November 2020, and by 14% compared to November 2019, as detailed below (Table 2).

In November 2021:

  • Miscellaneous offences decreased by 5% (or 503 offences) compared to November 2020 (decreasing from 10,047 to 9,544 offences), and by 8% compared to November 2019 (decreasing from 10,361 to 9,544 offences). The largest decrease by volume since November 2020 was Breach of the peace etc., which fell by 12% from 3,914 to 3,433 offences. Urinating etc. rose by 208% from 39 to 120 offences, but was still 36% lower than November 2019.
  • Motor vehicle offences were 19% (or 2,027 offences) lower compared to November 2020, decreasing from 10,396 to 8,369 offences, and were 14% lower than November 2019 levels. The main contributors to the decrease since November 2020 by volume were Unlawful use of vehicle (which decreased by 33%, from 3,975 to 2,663 offences) and Speeding (which decreased by 17%, from 2,075 to 1,723 offences), and this is 17% and 18% below November 2019 levels, respectively. All categories within Motor vehicle offences decreased in November 2021 compared to each of the previous two years.

Local Authorities

Compared to November 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 decrease was seen in Na-h Eileanan Siar (down 44%) and the largest increase was in Aberdeen City, which had 21% more recorded crimes. 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 North Lanarkshire (down 22%, or 322 crimes), South Lanarkshire (down 16%, or 188 crimes) and Edinburgh City (down 8%, or 183 crimes).

April to November 2019 and April to November 2020, compared with April to November 2021

Overall, in April to November 2021 the police recorded 152,882 crimes, a reduction of 3% (or 5,451 crimes) compared to the equivalent period of the previous year (158,333 crimes) (Table 4). This was 9% (or 15,422 crimes) lower than the same period in 2019 (168,304 crimes). The biggest drivers of the decrease by volume since 2020 were Drugs (down 22%, or 5,350 crimes), Crimes against public justice (down 9%, or 1,654 crimes) and Housebreaking (down 18%, or 1,270 crimes). When compared with 2019, the biggest drivers of the reduction by volume were Shoplifting (down 30%, or 6,400 crimes), Drugs (down 22%, or 5,422 crimes) and Other theft (down 18%, or 5,164 crimes). The largest increase since 2020 by volume was Vandalism etc. (up 3%, or 850 crimes). Compared with 2019, the largest increase by volume was Fraud (up 69%, or 4,807 crimes).

The number of offences recorded by the police in April to November 2021 was 1% (or 2,010 offences) lower than the equivalent period in 2020, with Miscellaneous offences decreasing by 1% (or 839 offences) and Motor vehicle offences decreasing by 2% (or 1,171 offences) (Table 5). Compared to 2019, offences decreased by 7% (or 11,859 offences), with Miscellaneous offences decreasing by 3% (or 2,389 offences) and Motor vehicle offences decreasing by 11% (or 9,470 offences).

Contact

Email: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot

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