Publication - Statistics

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017-2018: main findings

Published: 26 Mar 2019
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order, Statistics
ISBN:
9781787816695

Main findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017-2018 and the self-completion findings covering the period 2016-2017 to 2017-2018.

186 page PDF

7.8 MB

186 page PDF

7.8 MB

Contents
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017-2018: main findings
Summary Plain Text

186 page PDF

7.8 MB

Summary Plain Text

Overview of crime in Scotland 

  • The total number of crimes is estimated to have fallen by over two-fifths since 2008/09, with a continued decrease of 16% since 2016/17.
  • Similarly, the proportion of adults experiencing crime has fallen from around one in five in 2008/09 to one in eight in 2017/18.
  • The likelihood of experiencing crime in 2017/18 was higher for those in urban areas and those in the most deprived areas, with those aged 60 and over least likely to be victims.
  • A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of all crime. The 3.4% of adults who are multiple victims experienced almost three-fifths of all crime.

What type of crime was experienced? 

  • 71% was property Crime: Of all property crime, vandalism (38%), other household theft (29%), personal theft (22%), motor vehicle related theft (6%) and housebreaking (6%).
  • 29% was violent Crime minor assault with no / negligible injury (62%). Other violent crime comprises minor assault with injury (20%), attempted assault (7%), serious assault (5%) and robbery (6%).
  • 35% of the all crime experienced by adults were reported to police. 

A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of all crime.

  • 87.5% of adults did not experience any crime in 2017/18.
  • 9.0% of adults experienced one crime, corresponding to over two-fifths (43%) of all crime in 2017/18.
  • 3.4% of adults experienced two or more crimes. These victims experienced almost three-fifths (57%) of all crime in 2017/18. However this rate of multiple victimisation has more than halved from 8.2% in 2008/09.

12.5% of adults experienced crime. This rate varied across the population.

  • Those aged 60 and over (5.3%) were less likely than other age groups to experience crime.
  • People living in the most deprived areas (18.0%) were more likely than those living elsewhere in Scotland to experience crime.
  • People living in urban areas (13.4%) were more likely than those living in rural areas to experience crime.

Focus on violent crime

  • The total number of violent crimes is estimated to have fallen by almost half since 2008/09, mostly driven by decreases between 2008/09 and 2010/11, with some fluctuations but broad stability seen since then.
  • The proportion of adults experiencing violent crime has fallen since 2008/09.
  • The majority of violent crimes were minor assault with no or negligible injury (62%). Other violent crime comprises minor assault with injury (20%), attempted assault (7%), serious assault (5%) and robbery (6%).
  • Experiences varied across the population with 0.7% of adults experiencing almost three-fifths of violent crime.

There were 172,000 violent crimes committed against adults in 2017/18.

  • This is a 46% decrease in violent crime in Scotland since 2008/09, but no change since 2016/17.
  • 2.3% of adults experienced violent crime in 2017/18. This is a 1.8 percentage point decrease in adults experiencing violent crime in Scotland since 2008/09, but no change since 2016/17.

Facts about violent crime in 2017/18.

  • Around three in every five violent crimes took place in public settings (62%).
  • Almost four-in-five violent crimes were committed by male offenders (78%).
  • Offenders were believed to be under the influence of alcohol in almost half of violent crime (46%).
  • Violent crime in 2017/18 did not commonly involve the presence or use of weapons (12%)
  • 39% of violent crimes were reported to the police.

A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of violent crime.

  • Most adults (97.7%) did not experience any violent crime in 2017/18.
  • 1.6% of the population experienced one violent crime, corresponding to around two-fifths (41%) of all violent crime in 2017/18.
  • 0.7% of adults experienced two or more violent crimes. These victims experienced almost three-fifths (59%) of all violent crime in 2017/18. However this rate of repeat victimisation has fallen from 1.6% in 2008/09.

2.3% of adults experienced violent crime. This rate varied across age groups and level of deprivation.

  • People aged 60 and over (0.4%) were less likely than other age groups to experience violent crime.
  • People living in the most deprived areas (3.8%) were more likely than those living elsewhere in Scotland to experience violent crime.
  • There was no difference between men and women in the likelihood of experiencing violent crime.
  • There was no difference between urban and rural areas in the likelihood of experiencing violent crime.

Focus on property crime

  • The total number of property crimes is estimated to have fallen by two-fifths since 2008/09, but is unchanged since 2016/17. 
  • The proportion of adults experiencing property crime fell from 18.0% in 2008/09 to 10.8% in 2017/18.
  • The most common types of property crimes were vandalism, other household theft and personal theft.
  • A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of property crime. The 2.6% of adults who were repeat victims experienced almost half of property crime.

There were 430,000 Property crime committed against adults in Scotland in 2017/18.

  • There has been a 41% decrease in the amount property crime experienced in Scotland since 2008/09, but no change since 2016/17.
  • 10.8% of adults experienced property crime in 2017/18. This was a 7.2 percentage points decrease in adults experiencing property crime in Scotland since 2008/09.

Facts about property crime in 2017/18.

  • 38% of property crime was vandalism
  • 29% was other household theft (including bicycle theft)
  • 22% was personal theft
  • 6% was motor vehicle related theft
  • 6% was housebreaking. 
  • 34% of property crimes were reported to the police. 

A small number of victims experienced a high proportion of property crime.

  • Most adults (89.2%) did not experience any property crime in 2017/18.
  • 8.2% of adults experienced one property crime, corresponding to over half (51%) of all property crime in 2017/18.
  • 2.6% of adults experienced two or more property crimes. These victims experienced almost half (49%) of all property crime in 2017/18. However this rate of repeat victimisation has more than halved from 6.4% in 2008/09.

10.8% of adults experienced property crime. This rate varied across the population.

  • People aged 60 and over (5.0%) were less likely than other age groups to experience property crime.
  • People living in the most deprived areas (15.6%) were more likely than those living elsewhere in Scotland to experience property crime.
  • People living in urban areas (11.6%) were more likely than those living in rural areas to experience property crime.

Public perceptions of the police

  • The majority of adults in Scotland (57%) believed the police in their local area were doing an excellent or good job in 2017/18 (unchanged from 2016/17 but down from 61% in 2012/13).

How confident were people in the ability of the police?

  • The majority of adults are confident in the police across each of six different aspects of policing. The proportion of adults confident in each of these aspects has increased since 2008/09.
    • 53% were confident in the police’s ability to prevent crime, up 7 percentage points from 2008/09.
    • 63% were confident in the police’s ability to respond quickly, up 8 percentage points from 2008/09.
    • 65% were confident in the police’s ability to deal with incidents, up 7 percentage points from 2008/9.
    • 69% were confident in the police’s ability to investigate incidents, up 5 percentage points from 2008/9.
    • 64% were confident in the police’s ability to solve crimes, up 7 percentage points from 2008/9.
    • 61% were confident in the police’s ability to catch criminals, up 6 percentage points from 2008/9.

Other views on the police

  • 88% of adults agreed that ‘the police in this area would treat you with respect if you had contact with them for any reason’.
  • 64% of adults agreed that police in this area can be relied on to be there when you need them’.
  • 63% of adults agreed that the ‘police in this area treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are’.
  • 50% of adults agreed that the ‘police in this area listen to the concerns of local people’.
  • 45% of adults agreed that ‘overall, people have a lot of confidence in the police in this area’.
  • 24% of adults agreed that ‘community relations with the police in this local area are poor’.
  • 20% adults agreed that ‘police in this area are not dealing with the things that matter to people in this community’.
  • Victims of crime and those living in the 15% most deprived areas were less likely than non-victims and those living in the rest of Scotland to say the police were doing a good or excellent job in 2017/18. 

Public perceptions of Crime

Local Crime 

  • 73% of adults thought the local crime rate had stayed the same or reduced in the two years prior to interview, up 8 percentage points since 2006, but down 3 percentage points since 2016/17. 
  • 22% of adults thought that the local crime rate had increased.

National Crime

  • 48% thought that the national crime rate stayed the same or reduced, up 8 percentage points since 2009/10, but down 3 percentage points since 2016/17. 
  • 41% of adults thought that the national crime rate had increased.

Fear of crime

  • 77% of adults felt safe walking alone after dark in 2017/18, up 11 percentage points since 2008/09, but unchanged since 2016/17. 
  • This rate varied across the population.
    • 68% of victims of crime felt safe walking alone after dark.
    • 63% of people living in the most deprived areas felt safe walking alone after dark.
    • Females (66%) were less likely than males (89%) to feel safe walking alone after dark. 

Of a range of crimes asked about, people were most commonly worried about fraud.

  • 51% of adults were worried that someone would use their credit card or bank details.
  • 43% of adults were worried that their identity would be stolen.
  • Across a range of crimes, a greater proportion of adults thought that they were likely to experience crime (over the next year) than the proportion who were actually victims in 2017/18.

Illicit drug use

In the last 12 months

  • 7.4% of adults had taken drugs. This is a 1.4 percentage point increase since 2014/15 but unchanged since 2008/09. This figure excludes poppers, glues, solvents, gas or aerosol and prescription only painkillers not prescribed to respondents.
  • 9.5% of respondents reposted having taken one or more of any of the listed drugs in the survey.
  • 27.8% of respondents reported that they had ever taken one or more of the comparable illicit drugs. This is an increase on 2014/15 (22.1%) and 2008/09 (25.6%).

Cannabis (6.6%) was the most commonly taken drug in the last 12 months

  • This was followed by:
    • Prescription only painkillers that were not prescribed to the respondent (3.3%)
    • Cocaine (1.8%)
    • Ecstasy (1.2%)
    • Poppers (0.9%)

Other findings

  • Class B (71%) drugs were the most commonly taken amongst those who had taken any drug in the last 12 months, followed by Class A (26%) and Class C (7%).
  • 11.6% of adults were offered drugs in the last 12 months. Of those who were offered drugs, 50% took drugs.
  • 16 to 19 was the most common age to first try drugs.

Stalking & Harassment

  • In the 12 months prior to interview 11.1 % of adults experienced at least one type of stalking & harassment, with 5.8% of adults experiencing more than one type.
  • Of those who experienced stalking & harassment in the 12 months prior to interview:
    • 67% received unwanted messages by text/email/social media
    • 56% received unwanted phone calls
    • 23% received unwanted letters or cards
    • 11% experienced someone loitering outside their home or workplace
    • 10% were followed
    • 4% had intimate pictures of them shared.
  • In relation to the most recent (or only) incident experienced:
    • 1 in 10 respondents informed the police about the most recent (or only) incident experienced.
    • 50% of victims said they knew the offender in some way.
    • 41% of victims said the offender was someone they had never met.
  • Experiences of stalking & harassment were highest amongst people aged 16 to 24, especially women of this age – 27% of women aged 16-24 experienced stalking & harassment compared to 12% of men aged 16-24.
  • Half of those who had experienced stalking & harassment had also experienced partner abuse.

Partner Abuse

Since the age of 16

  • 15.6% of adults experienced at least one incident of partner abuse since age 16. This is up from 14.1% in 2014/15, but down from 18.2% in 2008/09. 
  • More women (20.0%) experienced partner abuse than men (10.9%).
  • 62% of respondents who reported experiencing partner abuse reported having one abusive partner; 13% reported having had two abusive partners; and 9% reported having had three or more.

The most common type of psychological abuse was a partner behaving in a jealous or controlling way.

  • 9% had experienced a partner or ex-partner behaving in a jealous or controlling way.
  • 8% had experience of being put down repeatedly so they felt worthless.
  • 5% said a partner (or ex-partner) had stopped them from seeing friends and relatives.

The most common type of physical abuse was being kicked, beaten, or hit.

  • 6% said they have been kicked, bitten, or hit by a partner or ex-partner.
  • 6% have been pushed or held down.
  • 5% have had something thrown at them with the intention of causing harm.

In the 12 months prior to interview

  • 3.0% of adults experienced at least one incident of partner abuse in the 12 months prior to interview. This is unchanged since 2014/15, but down from 4.2% in 2008/09. 
  • More women (3.6%) than men (2.3%) experienced partner abuse in the 12 months prior to interview. 
  • Of those experiencing at least one incident of partner abuse 66% experienced at least one psychological effect and 32% experienced at least one physical effect.

Latest incident In the 12 months prior to interview

  • 38% were living with the partner at the time of the incident.
  • 40% had children living in the household.
  • 68% told at least one person or organisation.
  • 19% said the police came to know about the incident.

Sexual Victimisation

More serious sexual assault since age 16

  • More serious sexual assault includes:
    • Forced sexual intercourse
    • attempted forced sexual intercourse
    • forced other sexual activity
    • Attempted forced other sexual activity
  • 3.6% of adults have experienced at least one type of serious sexual assault.
  • 1.3% of adults have experienced more than one type. 
  • More women (6.2%) have experienced serious sexual assault than men (0.8%). 
  • Over ½ experienced the first (or only) incident when aged between 16 and 24 years. 

Forced sexual intercourse

  • Of those who had experienced forced sexual intercourse since the age of 16:
    • 62% experienced more than one incident, with 31% experiencing too many to count.
    • 56% said the offender was their partner.
    • 23% said the police were informed about the most recent (or only) incident.

Less serious sexual assault since age 16

  • 9.3% of adults have experienced at least one type of less serious sexual assault.
  • 3.2% of adults have experienced more than one type. 
  • More women (10.8%) than men (1.7%) have experienced unwanted sexual touching.
  • More women (4.7%) than men (0.4%) have experienced sexual threats.
  • More women (6.2%) than men (1.2%)have experienced indecent exposure. 
  • The offender varied by type of less serious assault:
    • 41% of victims of unwanted sexual touching said the offender was a stranger.
    • 52% of victims of sexual threats said the offender was their partner.
    • 76% of victims of indecent exposure said the offender was a stranger.

Contact

Email: scjs@gov.scot