Recorded Crime in Scotland: year ending June 2023
This quarterly National Statistics bulletin presents information on the number of crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland for the year ending June 2023. It also includes a comparison with the equivalent four previous years.
For additional and more detailed commentary on the recording of crimes and offences, including time series analysis over the longer term (back to 1971), statistics on cyber-crimes and clear-up rates, users should refer to the 2022-23 (or year ending March 2023) National Statistics bulletin.
Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police provide a measure of the volume of criminal activity with which the police are faced. Crimes recorded by the police do not reveal the incidence of all crimes committed as not all crimes are reported to the police. The other main source of crime statistics in Scotland is the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS), a national survey of adults (aged 16 and over) living in private households, which asks respondents about their experiences and perceptions of crime.
Amendments to the recording of Crimes and offences over the past five years
Users should note that some changes have been made to the recording of crimes and offences over the five years up to year ending June 2023. Most often this reflects the enactment of new legislation passed by either the Scottish or UK Parliaments, which can create new criminal offences or amend the existing approach to recording some types of criminal activity. Other changes reflect decisions taken by the Scottish Crime Recording Board. These include:
- The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, which came into effect on 1 April 2019;
- A procedural change made to the recording of international crime, from 1 April 2020;
- The Coronavirus Act 2020 and Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, implemented on 25 March and 27 March 2020, respectively;
- The implementation of the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted goods and services) (Scotland) Act 2021, which came into effect on 24 August 2021;
- The enactment of various sections of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 in June 2022 and March 2023.
The implementation of the Protection of Workers Act did not change the volume of crime being recorded. Prior to this, any assault of a retail worker would have been recorded as either a Common or Serious assault. From 24 August 2021 such cases are now recorded as either Common or Serious assault of a retail worker (with the same changes for threatening and abusive behaviour towards retail workers).
The other amendments did result in changes to the number of crimes being recorded within these statistics, following their implementation – most notably the 20,146 crimes recorded under Coronavirus related legislation in year ending June 2021, which reduced to 96 crimes in year ending June 2022 and further reduced to zero crimes in year ending June 2023.
Where statistics have been impacted by the above changes, this has been highlighted within the bulletin. More detailed information, including for changes prior to the five years presented below, is available in the recorded crime User Guide.
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