Recorded Crime in Scotland: September 2020

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

This document is part of a collection

Main findings

Crimes recorded by the police

In September 2020, the police recorded 19,684 crimes. This is 4% lower (or 721 crimes) than the 20,405 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 September 2019 and September 2020:

  • Non-sexual crimes of violence were 17% lower (or 147 crimes), decreasing from 851 to 704 crimes. Most categories in this group experienced a decrease, with the exception of Homicide etc. which increased by 3 crimes. The most marked decrease was in the Attempted murder and serious assault category, which decreased by 81 crimes (22%), from 372 to 291. Crimes under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act decreased by 30% (from 152 to 107 crimes).
  • Sexual crimes were 4% higher (or 42 crimes), increasing from 1,143 to 1,185 crimes. The main contributor to this increase by volume was Other sexual crimes, which increased by 11% (or 53 crimes), from 486 to 539.
  • Crimes of dishonesty were 9% lower (or 841 crimes), reducing from 8,980 to 8,139 crimes. Most categories experienced a decrease, although there were increases in Fraud (an increase of 72% from 797 to 1,367 crimes) and Other dishonesty (an increase of 3% from 360 to 371 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 was driven by decreases in Other theft (which decreased by 18% from 3,601 to 2,937 crimes), Shoplifting (which decreased by 17% from 2,360 to 1,948 crimes), and Housebreaking (which decreased by 19% from 1,065 to 858 crimes).
  • Fire-raising, vandalism etc. decreased by 5%, from 4,003 to 3,812 crimes. Within this, crimes of Fire-raising increased by 11% from 208 to 231 crimes, and Vandalism etc. decreased by 6% from 3,795 crimes to 3,581 crimes.
  • Other crimes were 8% higher (or 416 crimes), increasing from 5,428 to 5,844 crimes. The main contributor to this increase by volume was Crimes against public justice, which rose by 40% (or 604 crimes). Drugs crimes fell by 6%, or 196 crimes.
Chart 1. Crimes and offences recorded by the police, by crime group, September 2020 compared with September 2019
Chart 1. Crimes and offences recorded by the police, by crime group, September 2020 compared with September 2019

Offences recorded by the police

In September 2020, the police recorded 20,050 offences. This is 3% lower (or 636 offences) than the 20,686 offences recorded in the same month in 2019. There was a 5% decrease in Miscellaneous offences, and a 1% decrease in Motor vehicle offences, as detailed below (Table 2).

Between September 2019 and September 2020:

  • Miscellaneous offences decreased by 5% (or 567 offences), from 11,036 to 10,469. Most categories experienced a decrease with the exception of Other miscellaneous offences, which experienced an increase of 17% from 1,065 to 1,241. The most prominent decreases by volume were in Common assault (which decreased by 9% from 4,989 to 4,533 offences), Urinating etc., which decreased by 56% and Breach of the peace etc. which decreased by 2%.
  • Motor vehicle offences were 1% lower (or 69 offences), reducing from 9,650 to 9,581. The main contributors to this reduction were Speeding, which fell by 15% (or 347 offences) and Seat belt offences which decreased by 39% (or 96 offences). Unlawful use of a vehicle crimes increased by 9% (269 offences), and Driving under the influence increased by 28% or 142 offences.

Local Authorities

Compared to September 2019, a reduction in recorded crime was seen in 19 (59%) out of 32 local authorities, with the remaining 13 showing an increase (Table 3). The largest decrease was seen in Shetland Islands (down 29%) and the largest increase was in Na h-Eileanan Siar (up 66%). 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 20% or 508 crimes), followed by Glasgow City (down 8% or 292 crimes) and Aberdeen City (down 11% or 106 crimes).

April to September 2020 compared with April to September 2019

Overall, in April to September 2020 the police recorded 118,204 crimes, a reduction of 7% (or 8,570 crimes) compared to the same period in 2019 (126,774 crimes) (Table 4). The biggest drivers of this reduction by volume were Shoplifting (down 36% or 5,754 crimes), Other theft (down 20% or 4,277), and Vandalism etc. (down 12% or 2,856 crimes). Crimes against public justice saw the biggest increase over this period, growing by 35% (or 3,440 crimes) from 9,764 to 13,204 crimes. Fraud was also higher, increasing by 61% (or 3,165 crimes) from 5,162 to 8,327.

Over the same period, the number of offences recorded by the police was 7% lower (or 8,551 offences), with Miscellaneous offences decreasing by 1% (or 719 offences) and Motor vehicle offences falling by 13% (or 7,832 offences) (Table 5).



Back to top