Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Main Findings

Main findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15.

Executive Summary

This summary presents the main findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15. Report chapters provide further results and context around survey findings.

The Extent of Crime (Chapter 2)

  • There were an estimated 688,000 crimes in 2014/15, a decrease of 16% since 2012/13, and by 34% since 2008/09.
  • 73% of crime was property crime, comprising vandalism (26%), other household theft (incl bicycle theft) (23%), personal theft (excl robbery) (15%), motor vehicle theft related incidents (6%) and housebreaking (3%).
  • 27% of crime was violent crime, comprising minor assault with no / negligible injury (17%), minor assault with injury (4%), attempted assault (4%), serious assault (1%) and robbery (1%).

Comparing the SCJS with Police Recorded Crime (Chapter 3)

  • A comparable subset of crime enables comparisons to be made between recorded crime and SCJS estimates. Between 2008/09 and 2014/15, police recorded crime and SCJS in the comparable subset decreased (by 38% and 43% respectively).

The Risk and Characteristics of Crime (Chapter 4)

  • 85.5% of adults experienced no crime in 2014/15, therefore, the SCJS estimates that 14.5% adults were the victim of crime in 2014/15, down from 16.9% in 2012/13, and from 20.4% in 2008/09.
  • In 2014/15, 13.0% of adults were estimated to have been a victim of property crime and 2.6% of adults a victim of violent crime.
  • 10.2% of adults experienced one crime in 2014/15, while 4.4% of adults were the victim of multiple crimes, experiencing 58% of all SCJS crime.
  • 3.5% of adults were repeat victims of property crime, while 0.8% of adults were repeat victims of violent crime. Of those who were repeat victims of violent crime, most were repeat victims of minor assault (79%).
  • The risk of being a victim of any crime was higher for adults living in the 15% most deprived areas (21.2%), compared to elsewhere in Scotland (13.4%).
  • Between 2008/09 and 2014/15, the risk of crime fell in the most deprived areas from 26.0% to 21.2%, while elsewhere the risk fell from 19.4% to 13.4%. Between 2012/13 and 2014/15, the risk of crime was unchanged in the most deprived areas while elsewhere the risk fell from 16.1% to 13.4%.

The Impact and Perceptions of Crime (Chapter 5)

  • Victims of property crime were more likely to think that what happened was a crime (72%), compared to victims of violent crime (49%), and that the offender should be prosecuted in court (60% and 42% respectively).
  • Victims of violent crime were more likely than victims of property crime to experience strong negative emotions like shock (30% and 16% respectively) and fear (26% and 5% respectively).

Reporting Crime and Support for Victims (Chapter 6)

  • Just under two-fifths (38%) of crimes were reported to the police in 2014/15, around the same level in recent years. 44% of violent crime came to the attention of the police compared to 36% of property crime.
  • When victims reported crime, 63% were satisfied with the way the police handled the matter.

Public Perceptions of Crime (Chapter 7)

  • Three quarters (75%) thought that the local crime rate had stayed the same or reduced, unchanged from 2012/13 and up from 65% in 2006.
  • Around three-quarters (74%) of adults said they felt very or fairly safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark, up from 66% in 2008/09.

The Public and the Police (Chapter 8)

  • The majority of respondents said that the police were doing a good or excellent job in their local area, however this had decreased from 61% in 2012/13 to 58% in 2014/15.
  • The majority of adults were very or fairly confident in their local police force across the six measures of confidence asked about in this survey.
  • Since 2008/09, there have been statistically significant increases in confidence across all six measures.
  • Since 2012/13, there has been no change in confidence in the police to prevent crime or catch criminals. There were small, but statistically significant, decreases in confidence in the police to investigate incidents, deal with incidents, respond quickly and solve crimes.
  • Non-victims and those living in less deprived areas were more confident in the police, and more likely to say the police were doing a good or excellent job, than victims and those living in the most deprived areas. Views on policing also varied across police divisions.

The Scottish Justice System (Chapter 9)

  • Most adults said they did not know a lot about the criminal justice system (61%) and another 15% said they knew nothing at all.
  • When asked for their opinion on aspects of the justice system, the changes in respondents' confidence levels between the 2008/09 and 2014/15 surveys are positive and statistically significant, across each of the six comparable statements.
  • Almost one in five (21%) adults had experienced at least one of the civil law problems in the last three years. The most common problems were problems with home, family or living arrangements (14%).


Email: Trish Brady-Campbell

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